Personalization offers a map through the maze of video content

May 12, 2016
3 min read

Every time I turn around these days, another streaming service has launched. At a time when consumers are embracing online video more than ever before, everyone seems to want in on a piece of the streaming pie. Yet, as more and more providers enter the market, consumers are becoming inundated with content options. How will they discover content that is relevant to their tastes?

One of Mintel’s Telecommunications Marketing Trends for 2016 is “Content Overload,” which emphasizes the necessity for content providers to help consumers navigate the vast array of content options available to them. Video providers—whether streaming or pay TV—are challenged to offer better user experiences across all devices to help their customers search and discover content. Choice paralysis is a real phenomenon. With so many options out there, from Netflix to cable packages to Amazon Prime, consumers are likely to gravitate toward those services that do the best job of getting the right content into their hands, rather than facing mountains of potentially irrelevant video, and asking the consumer to figure it out on their own.

Last week, Hulu announced that is developing a streaming pay-TV service. Hulu’s commentary around its announcement embodies the key concerns of “Content Overload.” Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins told the New York Times that “there is a paradox of choice that is out there today with the number of channels that are available. It is not intuitive or easy to always find them, particularly on your mobile device.” Hopkins added, “We are going to try to solve that by making it more personalized. How do we make it so personalized that we are thinking ahead for you so that you don’t have to?”

Hulu is hoping that by offering a truly personalized service, they will be able to succeed in a marketplace that is growing increasingly more crowded. Dish’s Sling TV and Sony’s PlayStation Vue already offer their own versions of streaming cable, and YouTube announced last week that it has prioritized its “Unplugged” live-streamed bundle of premium TV channels. Plus, AT&T is planning to launch three DIRECTV Internet TV services later this year. All of these services are aimed at providing content similar to what you’d find through a pay-TV service, but offering the content in a more mobile way.

Content mobility is a very important piece in the personalization of content, and providers realize this. Consumers want the right content in the right place at the right time, which often means watching on the go. Pay-TV providers are still dealing, in many cases, with a confusing mix of TV Everywhere apps, and inconsistent experiences from one device to another. New streaming pay-TV services have the advantage of being built around mobility, making it easier for customers to get to the content that they want, quickly and on-the-go.

Finally, providers are challenged to make better use of the data they have about their customers. Somewhere in all that data is all of the information needed to provide each customer a customizable, relevant, and agile service. Essentially, whoever can provide the most accurately personalized service wins.

Emily Groch is Mintel Comperemedia’s Director of Insights, Telecommunications. She provides omni-channel marketing analysis and competitive insights to wireless, TV, internet, over-the-top, and home security service providers across the US and Canada.

Emily Groch
Emily Groch

Emily Groch is Mintel Comperemedia’s Director of Insights, Telecommunications, providing omni-channel marketing analysis and competitive insights to telecom providers.

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