Leading media executives from Havas, C4, Amazon and Liberty Global predict that voice control will be the main innovation to enhance the TV viewer user experience. 

Maria Garrido E102 SR (5)

Maria Garrido: Discoverability is key for content providers  

The TV industry must innovate if it is going to survive in the face of growing competition from OTT giants, warned Havas executive Maria Garrido, who kicked off the IBC Audiences conference track at IBC2018. 

Discoverability is a big issue for content players, the Chief Insights & Analytics Officer said, adding that tailored content and voice interaction to capture user engagement is key to remain competitive.  

Garrido said: “The TV industry isn’t dead –yet!” but greater innovation is required to grab the attention of Millennials, Generation Z and Tweens.

With voice search growing rapidly, it’s easy to see how Amazon could move into a dominant position in the content market by controlling the discoverability of generic content through digital assistants like Alexa. 

Particularly for the big players in the UK: “The BBC is a top brand ahead of Apple and Amazon and in the US brands like HBO or Nat Geo still have a strong reputation.” 

TV advertising spend is predicted to decline from 34% to 31.3% in 2021, voice search could be key to targeting audiences, Garrido concluded. 

“Voice is going to change the user experience by making it a simpler and richer way to access content” - Fabrice Rousseau, Amazon Alexa 

Cautioning broadcasters, Channel 4’s Chief Consumer and Strategy Officer Sarah Rose said voice was going to be “a big disrupter”, she added that broadcasters and digital players would have to work together to make sure that the technology would benefit the end user.

“All the data to drive voice remains in the hands of the voice assistants so we are embarking on this journey from a wary perspective,” she said.

IBC2018 Rousseau Rose

IBC2018: Amazon’s Fabrice Rousseau and C4’s Sarah Rose

Amazon Alexa has made no secret of its desire to break into the TV ecosystem and repeat the success it has so far seen.

Joining the conversation, Amazon General Manager for Alexa Skills EU, Fabrice Rousseau said: “TV is the most important space for us. Voice is going to change the user experience by making it a simpler and richer way to access content.” 

Liberty Global’s new Chief Technology Officer, Enrique Rodriguez told delegates where his priorities lie - customer satisfaction.

Rodriguez believes an insatiable appetite for video will become the driving force in the broadband industry. Consumers demand a faster connection speed and an easy to use interface. 

He added: “Fewer people use an electronic programme guide now.

“They prefer to just browse, and they’re increasingly likely to want to use voice to select and control what they watch.” 

 Rodriguez said voice is likely to continue pushing innovation across the industry in order to provide the best possible experiences for the end consumer.