TV is becoming the new frontline in the battle for customers, their attention and new revenues. Pay TV is booming and the number of accounts is set to pass a billion in just two years’ time, according to analysts at Pyramid Research. Although cable accounts will decrease as a percentage, it will still account for 58 percent of these accounts while IPTV accounts will exceed 100 million by 2014.
TV, however, is no longer a linear, broadcast medium. The idea that if you produce hundreds of channels, customers are bound to find something they like is giving way to the new – and better – idea that giving customers what they want, when and how they want it is actually a better way of serving them.
Alongside – and tied up with – personalization lies the goal of seamless interactivity. Research is now everywhere that says most people watch TV while using another device – either for greater detail and perspective on the programme in question or chatting with friends. Being able to start a programme on one device and ‘throw’ it onto another is a reality and so it is only a question of time before we get to a truly multiple device experience for TV. Indeed In-Stat believes that 100 million households will use hybrid – Smart TV and Internet – services by 2016.
This will explain why billing is being used as a tool to gain a foothold in the one area where impulse purchases are almost guaranteed. As with other services, such as gaming, in-app billing is becoming accepted as the easy, intuitive way to go. Mobile is is also an obvious device to use, as companies such as boxPAY announce mobile in-app billing functionality for the interactive TV market.
However, they are not alone – watch for an in-depth look at the wonderful, complex and intriguing world of TV and the opportunities that lie within….