Insights

Multiplatform Fragmentation: Survival of the Fittest? Seamless Integrators.

Media Practice Lead, Canada
Valtech

June 14, 2016

Broadcasters are grappling to get a handle on cross platform fragmentation, while brands are dipping their toes into multi platform experimentation. Most organizations know their customers are ready for new rollouts, but few know how to go about offering a seamless multiplatform experience. Even fewer fully understand the scope of the multiplatform universe.

I've come across many decision makers that tend to be biased to their own experience, so they don't consider other platforms as relevant. For example, if they own a tablet and smart phone, they understand the importance of making content available for those platforms. If they have children, they may realize video game consoles should be considered.

But when you mention Roku or Apple Watch, their eyes start to glaze over, then the blinders go up. They don't want to hear any more. Fear sets in.

But consumers are embracing new platforms with open arms. They have no fear; they're embracing experiences using multiple devices.

Consumers embracing non-linear experiences

In Q1 of 2016, Neilson Research reported that Netflix was found in 45% of Local People Meter (LPM) TV homes, of which 58% owned a tablet.

“Watching TV in a linear fashion is changing for many, as we are now in more control of what we watch, when we watch and where we watch,” Megan Clarken, executive vice president, Nielsen Global Watch Product Leadership says. “Most important is understanding how viewing patterns are shifting and determining the driving forces behind the change. While technology continues to evolve, so too are our habits as a direct result.”

Parks Associates research showed that users were indeed embracing a wide range of streaming platforms, reporting that 64 million households connected at least one computer electronics device to the Internet in 2015. 21% of them used a streaming media player to stream content. 14% use a Microsoft Xbox as their primary platform to stream video, 14% use a Sony PlayStation, 9.7% use a Roku streaming player and streaming devices from Apple, Google and Amazon were used by a combined 9.7 percent of the households, and 7.6 percent used a Nintendo Wii.

Forrester predicts that by 2025, 50 per cent of U.S. adults under age 32 won't pay for traditional cable subscriptions. With these new platforms gaining popularity, cord cutting is inevitable.

Cord Cutting Increasing

In Canada, the top television providers including Shaw, Rogers and Bell, lost seven times more customers in 2015 than 2014, according to Ottawa-based Boon Dog research, totalling a loss of 153,000 subscribers in just one fiscal year. South of the border, 15% of Americans are now officially “cord cutters” and that number is expected to continue increasing into the future.

Broadcasters that are able to shed their fears of new technologies are going to be the ones who survive and thrive. The evolutionary race is definitely in progress. Only the fittest will survive.

Embracing Multiplatform Fragmentation

In the United States, Time Warner Cable (TWC) made a bold move and started giving away Roku 3 box's with a new $10 Internet TV service in New York City last October in an attempt to retain subscribers.

In Canada, Bell's answer to on-demand is Crave TV, which can be viewed on computers, mobile devices and Apple TV. At the time of this writing, access through Xbox or Playstation or Roku was yet to be available.

Rogers shomi, launched last year, is one of the most comprehensive multi-platform on-demand Canadian media service giving subscribers the ability to watch pixel-perfect on-demand TV and movies through a computer, most tablets and smartphones, plus Xbox 360, and Apple TV.

Shomi is powered by You.i, a new app platform built on the principle of game engines with features for the needs of TV. Designers can define layout, visual design, motion and responsiveness using their own tools, then export the designs to the You.i engine. Apps built on You.i Engine reach every screen with a single codebase, making it easy to be multiplatform fast. The You.i Engine has already been validated with apps developed for global customers such as Disney, Nick Jr. and Treehouse for Corus Entertainment, Crackle and others, in addition to Rogers shomi.Valtech believes the You.i app offers content providers an advantage to build applications quickly and effectively, and has become You.i's first implementation partner to build multi-screen applications.

It’s really important to understand consumer behaviour in this new quickly evolving digital ecosystem. The media industry and brands need to embrace multiplatform development, and offer content that is compelling, easy to navigate and optimized for each device, while seamless one device to the other.

The multiplatform universe is within reach.

Don’t let fear hold you back; digital evolution is inevitable.

You just have to make sure you've got what it takes to survive.

Meet us at IBC in Amsterdam in September.

Need support and a tour of the top 10 platforms to consider? Valtech can help. Recently named the first implementation partner to build multi-screen applications on the You.i SDK designed for developing cross-platform video apps, Valtech is now offering development of immersive brand experiences possible on all platforms, free from traditional hardware platform constraints

copyright - header picture by You.i