One of our wonderful Research Directors, Emma Eaton attended the Connect TV World Summit in London a few weeks ago; a key theme was “The Great Recalibration of Television”. The speakers and panels spoke about the opportunities and challenges for TV, streaming and broadcast in a world where….

  • Studio groups are now their own distributors
  • Broadcasters are becoming digital-first
  • Sports leagues are going direct-to-consumer
  • Pay TV has lost its exclusivity on premium networks
  • Movies are premiered on SVOD
  • Pay TV operators make their own Smart TVs
  • Streaming looks as good as broadcast…

So, how do TV stakeholders grow and protect their continued relevance? One of the core challenges in this quickly evolving world is content discovery. There was plenty of discussion about how to elevate and enhance content curation, discovery and navigation.

In this mailer, we’ll share three of the tactics and strategies that were explored at multiple talks and panels across the conference:

1. Word of Mouth recommendations drive discovery

This kind of recommendation is more important than browsing the new releases section of streaming services or perhaps perusing personalised “you might like…” carousels, and is certainly seen by consumers as more important than social or TV ads.

There are evolving technological solutions for personal recommendation. For example, Liberty Global is working on a new feature that will allow people to recommend content to friends and family using a QR code within the programming information that you scan with a smartphone. A link to the content is created and shared via social messaging; the recipient of the link can read about the series or movie and either watch it or add it directly to their watch list.

2. Leverage the entire digital ecosystem for discovery

Data presented at the conference demonstrated that browser searches dominate for gathering additional information about content, with the majority of consumers saying they turn to a Google search ahead of visiting the show’s official social media account, or visiting review sites like Rotten Tomatoes or IMDb.

Traditional search engine optimisation (SEO) might be slightly overlooked these days, but it is a crucial place to focus in order to elevate deeper content discovery – the types of search hits that people find for a content name might be what triggers them to watch or not.

3. Become a trusted “super aggregator”

Smart TV home screens are a natural place for super aggregation to occur: according to a 2020 PWC Consumer survey in the UK, 79% of consumers are looking to their smart TV home screen to aid with discovery and recommendation.

The Samsung Universal Guide was spoken about at the conference as an example of a super aggregator offering personalised recommendations based on what viewers have done previously. The AI-powered system learns what types of show consumers like to, as well as favourite genres, enabling it to make suggestions based on viewing history, as well as shortcuts back into current series being watched, regardless of which video on-demand app it comes from.

Pay TV operators can become the world’s best super-aggregators if they properly onboard and manage a growing portfolio of third-party streaming services. It might be enough of a reason, on its own, to subscribe to Pay TV.

Final thoughts

Content discovery will continue to be an increasingly important research topic as choice increases at the same time as consumers tighten their belts and make decisions about paid for services. With greater understanding into their consumers, service providers can develop their content discovery abilities, boost more relevant content and features, and improve their programme guides to further enhance their consumers’ experience.