Devices, carriers converge on TV – billing the weapon of choice

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….



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About Alex Leslie 400 Articles
Alex was Founder and CEO of the Global Billing Association (GBA), a trade body focused on the communications sector. He is a sought after speaker and chairman at leading industry conferences, and is widely published in communications magazines around the world. Until it closed, he was Contributing Editor, OSS/BSS for Connected Planet.

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