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I’m sure you have been accused of telling your kids a story using the line, “I remember when I was your age…” Where this relates to TV and if you were born in the 1970s like me, does anyone remember having, to get up to physically change channels or having only 3 or 4 channels to choose from? What about having to adjust the indoor antenna to get a decent picture!
Times surely have changed. Not only have TVs changed but how we watch and consume content has changed as well. I think most of us would agree that TV and content related changes have been quite positive. In fact, many believe we are in the middle of a second golden age of television. There is now so much unique content at our fingertips:
- Netflix, Disney +, Amazon Prime and other platforms are investing billions in original content.
- Programmers and broadcasters are also opening up their back catalogs, making them available to their subscribers.
- And Studios are beginning to bypass traditional movies theaters.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, people are staying home and streaming more content than ever before. Our TVs and other screens have been transformed into our concert halls, movie theatres, classrooms, and social gathering locations.
This explosion of content comes also with some consumer frustration. One could argue there is risk of streaming fatigue and confusion with how and where to find desirable content becoming more complex.
Service providers therefore have a great opportunity to deliver real value to their subscribers by providing a one-stop shop for all the popular streaming services and offering their broadband only customers an introduction to video services. At CommScope, we have introduced a new range of devices we call the “streamer.” These devices enable service providers to offer a cost-effective service that is easy to set up as well as fast and intuitive to navigate using either your remote control or voice. Given their ease to purchase and continually upgrade, the popularity of service provider streamers continues to grow.
We’re seeing several global operators who are benefiting from offering streaming devices and the associated aggregation, universal search and recommendation engines to their customers. In North America, Comcast scored a hit with its “Flex” service. Liberty Global also recently launched a service to some of their footprint emphasizing not just the flexibility of the device but also the environmental benefits in terms of recycled material and energy efficiency. I predict that this type of streaming service model will continue to expand globally as more providers bundle their broadband services with an aggregated streaming platform.
It is inevitable that future generations will also be telling their children, “When I was your age,” but in the meantime, let’s continue to enjoy and optimize this new golden age of television.