Disney releases DisneyNow, a new app that combines live TV, on-demand, games and music

Disney’s streaming service may still be years away, but the company this week has launched a new app for streaming Disney’s series, Disney Channel movies, live TV and music all under one roof, with the release of DisneyNow. The app is designed to consolidate Disney’s existing “Watch” streaming apps into one, including Disney Channel, Disney XD, Disney Junior and Radio Disney.

That suite of TV apps, aimed at kids 2 to 14 years old, have been downloaded over 40 million times since 2012, the company says. To some extent, it made sense to keep them as separate properties – after all, what a 2-year old wants to watch will be very different from a young teenager.

But times are changing. While it made sense for each property to have its own space on linear TV, it’s more cumbersome to have multiple apps installed on our devices for access to content from a single provider.

To address this problem, Disney has added personalization features within the new DisneyNow app so kids (or parents) can customize the app to their programming interests. In addition, there’s a “Disney Junior Only” mode that parents can enable if they want to keep the app focused on preschool-appropriate programming.

What’s also interesting about the new app is that it gives you an idea of how Disney’s forthcoming streaming service may work.

In DisneyNow, for example, each user can set up a profile for themselves, and select from over 180 Disney Emoji avatar character poses to associate with their account. Kids can then customize their setup by choosing their favorite characters and shows, and then receive recommendations about what to watch next.

The app will also remember where users left off, so they can resume watching the next time they log in.

And like Disney’s upcoming streaming service has planned, DisneyNow app offers a combination of content – not just shows and movies. There are also games, music, and special performances available, too.

The app will include the ability to watch live, linear TV channels, as well as on-demand, in-season TV shows from its networks, like: “Andi Mack,” “Raven’s Home,” “Bizaardvark,” “Stuck in the Middle,” “Tangled: The Series”; Disney Junior’s “Vampirina,” “Elena of Avalor,” “Mickey and the Roadster Racers,” “The Lion Guard,” “Puppy Dog Pals” and “PJ Masks”; and Disney XD’s “DuckTales,” “Star Wars Rebels,” “Walk the Prank,” “MECH-X4” and “Milo Murphy’s Law.”

A selection of Disney Channel TV movies, curated from over 100 titles, will also be available, along with over 60 games featuring Disney characters, like the “DuckTales” adventure game “Duckburg Quest,” Princess Elena of Avalor in “Flight of the Jaquins” and the Villain Kids in the “Descendants 2 Wicked Style” activity.

Disney says it will release new games to the platform on a monthly basis.

Radio Disney performances and in-studio appearances will be added to this app, as well, including those from Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande and Camila Cabello, and others.

The app is ad-supported via sponsorships, traditional or interactive TV commercials and sweepstakes, as there’s no subscription fee to use it.

However, DisneyNow is not an over-the-top streaming service, like the one Disney has planned for its 2019 release, nor will it include any theatrical movies, like those from big brands such as Pixar, Marvel, or Star Wars. Those are being saved for Disney’s big Netflix competitor. (It does have sections for Marvel and Star Wars though, for their TV cartoon series.)

While some content in DisneyNow available for free, to watch the full lineup, users will need to authenticate using their pay TV credentials from a supported cable, satellite or digital programming distributor.

The good news for cord cutters is that DisneyNow does work with your YouTube TV, PlayStation Vue, DirecTV Now, or Hulu credentials.

Of course, you could just watch Disney via those streaming apps’, but it’s better to install the DisneyNow app for the kids, so they don’t have to stumble through adult programming to find their favorite shows.

DisneyNow is a free download on iOSApple TVAndroidFire tablets, and Roku. A version for Fire TV, Android TV and the web will arrive next year.


Written by : Sarah Perez

Taken from : https://techcrunch.com/2017/09/29/disney-releases-disneynow-a-new-app-that-combines-live-tv-on-demand-games-and-music/

Future TV Advertising: Brands speak out; Building ideal Ad-Tech eco-system

The Future TV Advertising Forum returns to London December 6th & 7th to debate how we get the whole TV industry on board to deliver the scale of advanced TV advertising inventory that buyers want, and how to give access to it with minimum complexity and cost. This year will feature over 10 brands speaking about what they want from television/video and the digital eco-system, a new (larger) venue, breakout sessions on marketing to machines and Building the ideal ad-tech eco-system, Start-Up of the year awards and our private, executive forum Advertising Pathfinders.

The programme will be fully published in one week but you can see our stellar speaker line up:

Ad-Tech Start Ups: Entry deadline in 2 weeks. No charge to enter and the shortlisted get to pitch their businesses to our audience and panel of judges. View here:

Future TV Advertising Forum: London, December 6th & 7th. www.futuretvads.com

Written by : Justin Lebbon

Announcement in VOD and Media Professionals – Linked In Group – https://www.linkedin.com/groups/123270/profile

Twitter sold enough ads to support all the live video shows it was pitching

Twitter is moving forward with 16 live video shows and features it said it wanted to stream.

Advertisers are getting behind Twitter’s push into live video shows.

At its pitch to advertisers in May, Twitter showed off 16 different live video shows and features it planned to stream in 2017, including shows from pro sports leagues like Major League Baseball, news outlets like BuzzFeed and entertainment publishers like LiveNation. (Vox Media, which owns this site, also cut a deal with Twitter to create a show with The Verge.)

The majority of those shows, though, required an advertiser commitment to help foot the bill. Without the ad commitment, the shows wouldn’t have been produced.

Turns out advertisers were interested. Twitter secured ad commitments for all 16 shows, which means they’ve all been given the green light, according to a source familiar with the company.

It’s unknown how much video advertising Twitter and its partners sold for each show, but it was enough that they’ve chosen to stream them. (Ad packages for BuzzFeed’s new show ranged from $250,000 to $500,000, according to Ad Age.)

If Twitter was a TV network, this wouldn’t be a big deal — TV networks produce everything they pitch to advertisers, called the upfronts, as it refers to the upfront commitment advertisers make to the new slate of shows. The digital version is called the newfronts.

But digital companies often pitch stuff at the newfronts that never gets any backing, and thus never gets created. The fact that Twitter found buyers for all of its shows is not only uncommon, but a sign that the company’s focus on live video shows has attracted advertiser attention.

Now, Twitter just needs to prove users want to watch these kinds of shows.


Written by : Kurt Wagner

Taken from : https://www.recode.net/2017/9/25/16347618/twitter-live-shows-advertising-new-fronts-ad-week

You’ve heard about precision medicine. Now get ready for precision drug ads

The drug industry spends billions each year to promote its medicines to the masses, blanketing popular TV shows and magazines with ads. Now, digital companies are increasingly trying to pry away a share of that money for ads that target specific patients, rather than broad demographics.

Targeted ads are nothing new in retail; anyone who uses the internet has had the eerie feeling that the ads popping up on page after page appear to be aimed directly at them. But drug makers have long steered clear of many such tools, for fear of violating patient privacy law.

That’s changing now. Facebook and the music streaming service Pandora are aggressively vying for pharma dollars by promising to help drug makers identify and reach the users most likely to have certain diseases or conditions — without violating the privacy law known as HIPAA.

Other companies looking to get in on the action are rushing to strike deals giving them access to vast troves of anonymized medical records. The databases strip out names — but can tell them, for instance, how many times women in a certain age bracket fill prescriptions for Drug X, or go to the doctor with complaints about Condition Y, or use their supermarket loyalty card to buy over-the-counter meds touted as a quick fix for Complaint Z.

Combine that with the personal information that consumers enter when they set up accounts with social media sites, and you have a powerful tool for predicting which individuals may be most likely to be interested in certain medications.

And marketers say they can use those analytics to send ads only to the most receptive patients as they browse online, scroll through Twitter, stream music — or even as they watch TV, thanks to a service that will deliver an ad to the airwaves only in a specifically targeted “micro-neighborhood” as small as a few residential blocks.

“It’s a matter of economics: Good targeting saves money. Good targeting improves the effectiveness of the spend. And … the ads don’t go to folks that don’t need them,” said John Kamp, executive director of the Coalition for Healthcare Communication, a trade group for pharmaceutical marketing companies and medical publishers.

STAT requested interviews with more than a dozen of the largest drug makers about the ad targeting tools they’re using. None agreed to talk about how they’re promoting specific products. Merck, Pfizer, and Eli Lilly did, however, share some information about how they reach out to patients to fill clinical trials or promote financial assistance programs — revealing some of the work they’re doing to target patients more precisely.

Pfizer, for instance, this summer took the first steps toward using geographic targeting for digital ads promoting RxPathways, its service that connects low-income patients with free prescriptions and help with copays.

Gary Pelletier, who runs the program for Pfizer, said his team compiled a list of the 16 states with the highest rates of uninsured patients and identified the ZIP codes in those states where the most patients have used Pfizer’s finance assistance program in the past.

Pelletier’s team then targeted everyone on certain social media sites in those ZIP codes with a video ad, featuring a couple navigating a labyrinth rising up out of the street. The off-screen narrator urged patients to “get the help you need to get the prescriptions you need.” They also blasted a Spanish language version of the ad to people in those ZIP codes with a Spanish language setting on their social media account.

In another first, Pelletier’s team in the past few weeks promoted tweets and Facebook posts publicizing Pfizer’s financial assistance hotline and website to people in parts of Texas and Florida ravaged by the recent hurricanes.

Following mom through her day

Spending on drug ads on TV, in print, and other traditional channels last year reached an estimated $5.7 billion. And that’s not even counting the growing category of digital ads, which one research firm estimated at $1.9 billion last year.


Pandora is going hard after those pharma dollars.

Pandora now has more than 16 million individual monthly listeners over age 55 — and its fastest growing segments of new users are people in that bracket. Not surprisingly, over the past two years, the company has seen a rapid rise in interest from drug advertisers, according to Lee Ann Longinotti, who runs Pandora’s business with health care advertisers.

Pandora now counts 20 drug makers among its recent advertisers, including Pfizer, Merck, and Johnson & Johnson. They’ve promoted 40 different prescription and over-the-counter drugs, for conditions ranging from diabetes to erectile dysfunction to a circadian rhythm disorder common in the blind.

To target users more precisely, Pandora struck a partnership a year ago with Crossix, a company which mines anonymized patient data from electronic health records, insurance claims, and pharmacy transactions.

That’s allowed Pandora to create profiles of the types of people who are most likely to be interested in drugs for a certain condition. Then it helps the pharma company follow those users around as they listen to music on different devices throughout the day.

Written by : Rebecca Robbins

Taken from : https://www.statnews.com/2017/09/26/drug-ads-precision-targeting/

Report: Traditional TV Measurement Missing Two-Thirds of Video Consumption

NEW YORK—It’s becoming harder to effectively measure the viewing habits of Millennials and Gen Xers (MGX)—those between 22 and 45— as around two-thirds of their TV and video content consumption is not being captured by current media measurement platforms, says a new report from Omnicom Media Group agency Hearts & Science.

MGXers spend an estimated 30 hours per week consuming TV and video content, but traditional TV platforms account for only 10 of those hours, per the report. The remaining content is viewed on other devices or streaming content on all devices. Measurement firms like Nielsen, comScore and Kantar can effectively measure those traditional TV screens, but are still working out how to measure content and ad exposure in-app on mobile and tablet devices, on OTT devices and through streaming services.

Nielsen has attempted to address this with its Digital Content Ratings Software Developer Kit, but it has had slow adoption as it requires integrating code to measure in-app content and ad-consumption on all platforms, devices and client app at the publisher’s expense. Nielsen’s digital TV ratings, which includes streaming TV content on these new platforms, struggles because the digital content and ad load must be identical to that of the original broadcast; ad content is usually changed as content crosses environments.

Meanwhile, 47 percent of MGXers report that they consume no content on traditional TV platforms. The study’s authors labeled such respondents as “unreachables,” as today’s TV measurement is not equipped to capture the whole story of this segment’s media consumption.

As a result of its findings, Hearts & Science calls for planning systems to be adjusted to account for the gaps in measurement data and to leverage new mobile datasets. They also suggested that agencies and marketers push for the adoption of SDKs that allow for these targets to be counted.


The full study is available for review here.

Written by : Michael Balderston

Taken from : http://www.tvtechnology.com/news/0002/report-traditional-tv-measurement-missing-twothirds-of-video-consumption/281904


If your TV looks blurry tonight, there’s no need to worry: Channel 4 to broadcast fuzzy images to give viewers a clear understanding of common eye conditions

  • Visual filters will be applied to adverts from 5 household brands tonight at 9pm
  • The blurring will occur during the first commercial break of The Undateables 
  • Each will be distorted to show what sufferers of 5 common eye conditions see
  • They include macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataract, hemianopia and diabetic eye conditions 

Channel 4 viewers tonight will be shown blurry adverts to give them an insight into what life is like for those plagued by vision loss.

During the first break of The Undateables, visual filters will be applied to adverts from five household brands to represent the most common eye conditions.

Each commercial will be distorted to represent what sufferers see, including those of macular degeneration – which affects the central part of a person’s vision.

Glaucoma, which damages the optic nerves, and cataracts, which often makes sight become cloudy, will also be illustrated through the filters.

The other two conditions set to be replicated include hemianopia, also known as half vision loss, and diabetes eyesight problems.

During the first break of The Undateables, visual filters will be applied to adverts from five household brands to represent the most common eye conditions

Cataract, as seen in the Paco Rabanne commercial, is another huge cause of vision loss, is a clouding of the eye's naturally clear lens. It is mostly age-related

Cataract, as seen in the Paco Rabanne commercial, is another huge cause of vision loss, is a clouding of the eye’s naturally clear lens. It is mostly age-related

It is unsure how many people suffer from hemianopia, the loss of some vision on the same side in both eyes - represented in the Freeview advert

It is unsure how many people suffer from hemianopia, the loss of some vision on the same side in both eyes – represented in the Freeview advert

Stroke patients and those who have had traumatic brain injuries are deemed to be most at risk of hemianopia, which can rob sufferers' of their independence

Stroke patients and those who have had traumatic brain injuries are deemed to be most at risk of hemianopia, which can rob sufferers’ of their independence


Channel 4’s drive, alongside the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), aims to illustrate what life is like for the two million Britons with eye conditions.

Those firms who have signed up to the campaign, part of National Eye Health week, include Amazon Echo, Paco Rabanne, 02, Freeview and Specsavers.

What the charity hopes to gain from the adverts 

Sophie Castell, director at RNIB, said: ‘This unique opportunity to work with Channel 4 and some really great advertisers will help show viewers different sight loss conditions and what living with sight loss can be like.

‘The use of audio description across an entire ad break marks a cultural shift in advertising.

Illustrated in the 02 advert, macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in people over 60 across the world, with more than five million sufferers, according to figures

Illustrated in the 02 advert, macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in people over 60 across the world, with more than five million sufferers, according to figures

Eye conditions related to diabetes, known as diabetic retinopathy, are present in the Amazon Echo advert. They eventually lead to blurred vision

Eye conditions related to diabetes, known as diabetic retinopathy, are present in the Amazon Echo advert. They eventually lead to blurred vision

Glaucoma, which strikes around 60 million people, is the second leading cause of blindness, the World Health Organization says. It is depicted in the Specsavers advert

Glaucoma, which strikes around 60 million people, is the second leading cause of blindness, the World Health Organization says. It is depicted in the Specsavers advert


In January, experts warned that we face a global epidemic of blindness if we continue to spend hours you spend staring at a screen.

The high energy light emitted from digital screens is causing irreversible damage to our eyes by deteriorating the retinas.

Damage to the retinas – the light-sensitive layer at the back of the eye – is the biggest cause of central blindness.

And a report warned ‘it is now clearer than ever that we are facing a global epidemic’ of sight loss – particularly for the millions of children who are exposed to digital screens earlier than ever.

Lead researcher Dr Celia Sanchez-Ramos, of the University Complutense of Madrid in Spain, said: ‘It is paramount for adults and parents to act now and protect themselves from further damage.’

‘We are really proud to be part of this exciting and rewarding initiative with Channel 4 and the advertisers.’

The campaign will be repeated in the following break at 9.30pm with the addition of audio description for viewers with a visual impairment.

What Channel 4 hope to do 

Jonathan Allan, Channel 4 sales director said: ‘Working with RNIB, we aim to illustrate the various perspectives of millions of people in the UK living with sight loss and provide full audio description to all our viewers.’

In August, a Stanford University study revealed that older adults who need glasses have a higher risk of dementia.

A significant link between vision loss and cognitive decline was uncovered by the researchers after reviewing two trials.

While Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary scientists claimed a blood test could save the sight of older people by detecting age-related macular degeneration before symptoms even start.

Macular degeneration 

Illustrated in the 02 advert, it is the leading cause of blindness in people over 60 across the world, with more than five million sufferers, according to figures.


Glaucoma, which strikes around 60 million people, is the second leading cause of blindness, the World Health Organization says. It is depicted in the Specsavers advert.


Cataract, as seen in the Paco Rabanne commercial, is another huge cause of vision loss, is a clouding of the eye’s naturally clear lens. It is mostly age-related.


It is unsure how many people suffer from hemianopia, the loss of some vision on the same side in both eyes – represented in the Freeview advert.

Stroke patients and those who have had traumatic brain injuries are deemed to be most at risk of the condition, which can rob sufferers’ of their independence.

Diabetic eye conditions 

Eye conditions related to diabetes, known as diabetic retinopathy, are present in the Amazon Echo advert. It blurs vision.

Figures suggest that a third of diabetics, of which there are an estimated 415 million across the world, suffer from the condition to some degree.


Written by : Stephen Matthews for Mail Online

Taken from : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-4894642/Channel-4-broadcast-BLURRY-TV-adverts.html


Students’ TV Licence trap: plug your laptop in to watch TV and risk £1,000 fine

Students could be unwittingly putting themselves at risk of a £1,000 fine if they misunderstand the rules around a TV licence.

Plugging in a laptop while using it to watch live TV could be the difference between complying with the law and breaking it. The TV Licensing Authority allows students to watch live TV on “devices powered by their own battery” and claim cover under their parents’ licence. Tens of thousands of students take advantage of this in order to watch TV without a licence while living away from home during term time.

But the little-known quirk about being attached to a mains plug or aerial means many may fall foul of a technicality.

The rule exists to allow those who want to watch live TV on-the-go on a laptop or tablet to do so without risk of prosecution, as long as they have paid for a licence covering their home address.

The TV Licensing website offers guidance to students that says they will be covered so long as the device is not connected to an aerial or plugged into the mains. This leads to a bizarre scenario in which a student watching TV on their laptop is covered by their parents’ licence, but as soon as they plug it into the mains they are no longer covered.

A spokesman said: “The provision in the legislation (about equipment being powered by its own batteries) is the same provision which enables someone to be covered to watch television on any equipment used away from their address as long as they have a licence at home.

“This means you’re covered to watch TV on your phone or laptop for example, when you’re on the go. If you plug the equipment in, the provision no longer applies. This [is] due to the way in which TV Licensing legislation is drafted.”

You will need a TV licence if you intend to watch live programmes or BBC iPlayer while at university. If you have a shared tenancy agreement one licence should cover the entire property, but if your tenancy agreement covers only your room you will need a licence of your own.

It costs £147 a year, but you can apply for a refund if you don’t need it to cover the entire year. The maximum fine for watching live TV without a TV licence is £1,000.

Written by : Sam Meadows

Taken from : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/student-money/students-tv-licence-trap-plug-laptop-watch-tv-risk-1000-fine/

‘Handmaid’s Tale’ wins top Emmy in breakout for online TV

‘Handmaid’s Tale’ , Hulu’s series based on Margaret Atwood’s novel about a dystopian near-future, wins five Emmy prizes, including best actress for Elisabeth Moss

Los Angeles: The Handmaid’s Tale, Hulu’s series based on Margaret Atwood’s novel about a dystopian near-future, won the Emmy award for best drama on Sunday, the first time an online network has won the top honor in television.

The win is a coup for the streaming service, which is owned by four of the world’s largest media companies. Streaming services have upended TV, spending billions on original series and freeing viewers from having to watch dramas or comedies live. They’ve led millions of people to cancel their cable.

Hulu, initially conceived for people to watch reruns online, has trailed Netflix Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. in the race to sign up viewers and craft original shows. Yet Hulu, owned by Walt Disney Co., 21st Century Fox Inc., Time Warner Inc. and Comcast Corp., now owns the ultimate bragging rights over its rivals with a show that has captivated critics since its release in April.

“They were bold and behind us,” Bruce Miller, creator of The Handmaid’s Tale, said of Hulu. “If streaming services continue to do that, I don’t see any limit to how many they can win.”

The show won five prizes in all Sunday night, including best actress for Elisabeth Moss’s portrayal of Offred. Moss had been nominated eight times previously, including for her performance as Peggy Olson on Mad Men.

Time of fear

Published in 1985, The Handmaid’s Tale won and was nominated for several prizes at the time, and was adapted into a movie in 1990. Atwood wrote the book while living in Berlin at a time of fear and suspicion. The Cold War was still on, and residents on both sides of the Berlin Wall had to worry about being monitored by security forces.

The book depicts a world in which fertility rates have fallen and women are subjugated. The few fertile women are captured and forced to help wealthy families procreate. Many viewers and critics drew parallels to modern fears about the current state of politics, and the ascension of right-wing politicians across the West.

It’s still unclear how many people have seen the show because Hulu doesn’t release audience metrics. But the win Sunday night paves the way for the service to sign up more viewers, and lure top talent at a time when new competitors in video, including Apple Inc. and Facebook Inc., are also bidding for their services.

“There have never been more platforms,” Emmy host Stephen Colbert said in his opening monologue on CBS from the stage of the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. “You have broadcast, cable, Amazon, YouTube, Hulu, Vudu, Netflix, Vitamix. These days everybody loves streaming video.”

Netflix earned four prime-time Emmys for three different shows, Black Mirror, The Crown and Master of None. Aziz Ansari and Lena Waithe won for their writing on the latter. Waithe became the first black woman to win an Emmy for comedy writing and was joined by Donald Glover, who became the first black man to win a comedy directing Emmy for Atlanta on FX, one of two awards he garnered Sunday night.

HBO’s haul

While HBO ceded the drama category to Hulu, Time Warner’s premium cable network took home the most awards of any network, with 10 on the night, by claiming the top prize in two categories, comedy and miniseries.

Voters in the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences crowned HBO’s Veep the best comedy for the third year in a row. Star Julia Louis-Dreyfus won her eighth Emmy with the prize for best actress in the comedy, tying with Cloris Leachman for the most wins of any actress.

Big Little Lies nearly swept the awards in the limited series category, winning three of the four acting prizes and the directing prize. The show is an adaptation of Liane Moriarty’s novel, which depicts five feuding mothers in a rich California town.

“I’ve been acting since I was 11 years old and I think I’ve worked with maybe 12 women, so I just want to thank the television academy for honoring our show and working with this incredible tribe of fierce women,’’ Laura Dern said after winning best supporting actress in the series.

Political humour

Politics were ever-present at the Emmys from the outset, with Colbert going after President Donald Trump following the opening number and NBC’sSaturday Night Live garnering four Emmys, largely because of its election-year sendups of Trump and Hillary Clinton. NBC was second in total awards for the night and the only broadcast network to take home an Emmy.

Colbert has gained viewers and media attention with his nightly mockery of the president, with the audience for his late-night show soaring more than 20 percent this year, often topping all late-night hosts.

Colbert brought out former press secretary Sean Spicer toward the conclusion of his opening monologue, which poked at Trump’s dismay over not winning an Emmy for his shows The Apprentice and The Celebrity Apprentice. Alec Baldwin won the Emmy for supporting actor in a comedy for his portrayal of the president on Saturday Night Live and said, “At long last Mr. President, here is your Emmy.”

SNL earned the award for best comedy sketch series, the first time the show has won that prize since 1993. Kate McKinnon, who has portrayed Hillary Clinton, won for best supporting actress in a comedy. Saturday Night Live is the most-nominated show in Emmy history.

“I remember the first time we won this award. It was after our first season in 1976. I remember thinking as I was standing there alone that this was it,’’ creator Lorne Michaels said. “This was the high point. There would never be another season as crazy, as unpredictable as frightening, as exhausting or as exhilarating. Turns out I was wrong. Bloomberg

Written by : Lucas Shaw

Taken from: http://www.livemint.com/Consumer/liqKYEGespci1WCH1NA9sK/Handmaids-Tale-wins-top-Emmy-in-breakout-for-online-TV.html


Voice search: the key to simplifying user experience?

IBC2017: Consumers have been given access to an ever-increasing range of content and platforms but don’t always have the tools to navigate and discover programmes.

The answer to making things simple again is voice, according to TiVo, one of the original disruptors of digital TV.

Speaking at IBC during a session on the consumer experience, TiVo Senior Director of Marketing Charles Dawes claimed that the company’s natural language voice controls – which are currently being integrated into Sky Q’s premium service – would radically simplify the user experience.

“It can take more than 10 clicks to find the search.

“Voice search is a quick and simple way to get to content more easily,” he said.

TiVo’s new solution claims to enable natural language voice searches for finding digital content across linear TV and VoD.

Viewers can find their desired programme by pressing and holding the voice button on the side of a touch remote and simply saying what they’re looking for.

“Voice search is a quick and simple way to get to content more easily” – Charles Dawes

Dawes said that the technology is based around the conversational way that people really speak and takes into account pauses in requests such as “Find me an action comedy….one with Tom Hanks.”

Viewers can also use their voices to search for films from a specific director or actor and even through using a selection of well-known movie quotes such as “Show me the money!”

The future user experience

TV is falling behind other content mediums in design terms, writes Mark Mayne.

Fabian Birgfeld, CEO & Co-Founder, W12 Studios, said: “TV must do better – there is some catch-up to be done when you compare it with other platforms. People talk about the paradox of choice, because there’s so much content, but we can’t seem to design an interaction method that solves the problem.

“I always use the metaphor of the supermarket – nobody complains about supermarket choice, because the design is understood, and allows people to choose freely.”

He reminded the packed auditorium attending “Future User Experience’ that the stakes are rising: “In the future, 20% of user interactions will take place via intelligent personal assistants – this will change the behaviours and expectations of the consumer. The tolerance for bad customer experience is dropping incredibly fast, and it’s thought that customer experience will overtake price and product as key brand differentiator by 2020.”

Senior Creative at Crackle and former UX Lead at the BBC Ida Olsen shared a series of tips for designers too, saying: “TV is about emotion, it brings people together, and not much has changed about the values people ascribe to the TV screen since 60s – in many ways there is nothing new.”

Olsen’s tips for design strategy included holistic design. “Scattered teams and tools that break down workflows don’t help this…I don’t have a solution for all that, but I do believe that everyone from QA to product person to designer – should have face to face time with developers and the customer – it’s important to know who you’re designing for!”

She also stressed the need for consistency in tone of voice and language. She said: “Humans are very good at pattern recognition so tap into that and work with it not against it.

“Think about steps before and after an object you’re designing, for example a content page – don’t accept thinking about it in isolation, it’s essential to have the context of how whole thing hangs together.”

Fellow panelist Freeview Australia Chief Executive Liz Ross also shared her insight into research which was gathered ahead of launching Freeview + in her home territory.

“People don’t like it when you only provide a grid text based guide for browsing or relying on the use of coloured buttons.

“You need to be able to make content search and discovery easy and integrate it into all browsing screens.”

Discovery Communications Senior VP of Data and Analytics Chris McGrath also advised broadcasters to think carefully about how they programme their recommendation engines.

“Think about the bias that you are putting in the algorithm. If you like shows such as Breaking Bad, then you usually get reccomendations for lots more shows with anti-heroes in them – there’s not a whole lot of variety and it can result in audience fatigue which may flatten out the success a show,” he warned.

Written by : Anne-Marie Corvin and Mark Mayne

Taken from : https://www.ibc.org/consumption/what-is-the-key-to-improving-ux-and-content-discovery/2312.article

Putting the multiscreen OTT puzzle pieces together

By the end of 2017 OTT revenue is forecast to surpass $50 billion, driven by the proliferation of broadband and connected devices writes Robert Guest, Global Director at Access.

Unsurprisingly, everyone wants a slice of the OTT pie. For instance, Disney recently announced the upcoming launch of its own direct-to-consumer streaming service in 2019, while Apple has set a $1 billion budget for original programming as it prepares to move into the film and TV space.

With more streaming services launching, consumers will have more subscriptions and apps to navigate than ever before. However, according to Altman Vilandrie & Company findings, 9 out of 10 US-based pay-tv subscribers are getting confused with the myriad of ways they can access content, and do not want a further increase in the number of video apps.

This discrepancy between the industry’s needs for control and consumer demand for simplicity of the user interface needs to be addressed. Otherwise, the operator-subscriber relationship could break, with device manufacturers in a good position to build strong relationships with consumers.

Research from Deloitte found that over half of the consumers surveyed reach for their connected device within a quarter of an hour after waking up and in the half hour before going to sleep, demonstrating how personal devices have fast become an extension of the consumer.

Yet, the battle for the consumer’s trust is not lost for traditional operators, as long as they follow three golden rules:

• Serve a plethora of devices: today’s consumers use a range of devices to watch content and it is crucial that operators can provide the same user experience on all screens – a feat easily solved by implementing HTML5 in a browser-based environment, enabling a unified user experience across all platforms.

• Syndicating all content sources: distribution rights mean that consumers cannot rely on one single service to meet all of their entertainment needs. Instead, operators need to offer a simplified service that aggregates all of these content sources in a single branded environment.

• Securing content delivery: with more devices comes a much bigger challenge to protect multiple content sources, delivered across a variety of networks. Operators need solutions that enable them to secure media across this plethora of options, with multi-DRM offering a unique solution to securely deliver content.

Forward-thinking operator Reliance Jio Infocomm, one of the world’s largest provider of mobile and digital services, has already deployed a multiscreen service providing its 100 million subscribers with access to multiple content sources – from Jio’s catalogue through to personal content and YouTube – across a wide range of devices.

Operators who want to compete or collaborate with pure OTT players can adopt this new type of service. By taking a holistic approach to multiscreen, operators can recapture the eyeballs of consumers by becoming their only point of content consumption.

This will ensure that the next generation of multiscreen and OTT services not only allows consumers to access content everywhere at all times, but also in an environment controlled and managed by the operator.

Taken from :https://www.ibc.org/delivery/putting-the-multiscreen-ott-puzzle-pieces-together-/2262.article