New European Union legislation brings borderless access to online content services across EU member states will likely be a driver for leading TV Everywhere (TVE) solutions in the region to offer advanced features such as voice-activation and single sign-on says research from Kagan.
The analyst noted that in 2017, content line-ups and service functionality were more consistent with much of the standard pay-TV experience as support for live TV and video-on-demand was almost universal. Among the among the 68 pay-TV operators it surveyed across 16 markets on cable, digital terrestrial, IPTV and satellite, Kagan found that 99 percent supported live TV channels in 2017 - compared with 96 percent in 2016 - and 94 percent (88 percent) offered access to VOD content.
Yet Kagan now believes that the next phase of change will involve operators taking a more comprehensive approach to TVE services, mirroring their set-top-box-based offers. Operators supporting out-of-home access to content hit 96 percent in 2017 but this figure is set to increase as operators can now extend beyond national borders thanks to new European laws established in November 2017.
Kagan suggests that the easing of content portability rules could both help to drive up usage and the penetration of TVE applications.
Dutch operators have been among the first to announce plans to terminate geo-blocking for their apps in Europe with VodafoneZiggo set to apply the new rules to its Ziggo Go app, as is KPN NV for the Interactieve TV app. From 1 April "providers and rights holders" will have nine months to prepare for and apply the new directives.
One of the most interesting trends revealed by the study was that mobile, smartphones specifically, continues to dominate TVE strategy, with increasing curation as well as functionality such as remote control, which has become prevalent, and voice, which Kagan sees as playing a critical role in making TVE a more seamless experience in particular from a search perspective. Survey data found that support for mobile reached 99 percent in 2017 with tablet apps reaching 97 percent in 2017 (up three percentage points annually), PCs 91 percent (88 percent), smart TVs 31 percent (30 percent) and game consoles stayed unchanged at 16 percent.
The Kagan report concluded by stating that that the most successful TVE strategies will continue to benefit from more vertically integrated operators with both distribution networks and proprietary content It cited as key examples PT Portugal in Portugal, Swisscom AG in Switzerland, Canal+ in France, Sky in Italy, Germany/Austria and the UK/Ireland and Telenet in Belgium. Italian ISP Fastweb SpA was cited as the only provider lacking a proprietary TVE service strategy, opting instead to bundle Sky Italia SRL and Mediaset SpA services. – Rapid TV News