The VOD or video streaming market has always had Innovation and Ideas as its driving force. From the content, to the services that have been offered, and even the consumer interest – everything has been inspired and run by innovation.
In fact, what tells the successful services from the ‘also rans’ and unsuccessful ones are the innovations that some come up with, and some do not. It, therefore, needs to be the aim of every service to come up with ideas and innovations that work to improve the User Experience each time it presents something new before its target audience. Here, let us look at the innovative ideas rampant and under development in the VOD and video streaming business right now.
The Lean Back Experience
Giving consumers a lean back experience constantly is one of the biggest challenges that VOD services are faced with. Yes; they are known for the extensive choice they present; and this in itself has given rise to this challenge. As you know, linear channels, and the EPG have the lean back experience. Recommendations, in their turn, want to support such an experience, too. The thing, however, is that when a viewer scrolls through a video streaming service like Netflix, or a video sharing service like YouTube, s/he has to consciously choose and decide what s/he would like to watch. What often happens in such cases is that many people take too much time to scroll and select, many cannot make up their minds about what to watch, and many just start scrolling somewhere, and then meander elsewhere.
You would want to know, next, how linear channels and the EPG handle such happenings. Well, one could say that the lesser choices the viewers get, the better can it be for the related service providers. Consumers would have to settle for one among the few choices that they have, or simply continue watching whatever is on. It often becomes a matter of habit for consumers to visit the same few channels while searching for content, too.
The space discussed above has scope for some smart innovations, like:
- Auto playing the subsequent episode
- Recommendations Displays
- Auto playing assets
- Personally curated channels
Creating a linear channel for every person, or maybe having a few linear channels for each family could be a very productive idea. Through these channels, content that these people have not tried before, or might enjoy watching, could be presented before them. You know, like the ‘radio channels’ of Spotify, that create bespoke playlists for every user on the basis of a song, or the individual’s preferences, or like Apple Music.
This idea of something like a hybrid between VOD and linear, if implemented rightly, could present an astounding UX – where things would be simple for a viewer to follow, and yet, s/he would have choices where s/he would like to have them.
Take a look at Amazon Fire, Roku, Apple TV, etc. Devices that are focused on VOD. What do we find? We find Voice Control emerging rapidly. Smart Devices such as the ones within the range of Amazon Echo are getting launched and successful, to enable us to witness how intelligent, voice activated support is gaining in usefulness and popularity.
You see, once you get accustomed to addressing an inanimate object, Voice-activated Controls can be very convenient and comfortable.
- They are much easier than keyboard entries of requirements – with all the left, right, up, and down keys
- They come very naturally to most of us
- Complex messages can get transmitted quickly and correctly through Voice-activated Controls
Voice technologies have become more precise, and therefore more effective, with the development of and improvements made in the fields of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML).
Cross Service Search
A major question is – Where can data be pulled from?
Imagine now that a consumer is searching the Amazon Fire interface for the latest episode of something as popular as, say, the ‘Game Of Thrones’. Now, one cannot expect a user to perform one search per app to finally get to know where the content is available. Here is where we are led to believe that with time, Cross Service Search will be brought more and more into prominence and use.
Content owners and broadcasters might worry that they are likely to lose some of their control over the UI, but the flip side could be remaining undiscovered by consumers who are in search of content.
However, solutions for most every such situation can be found – or even customized. Feel most welcome to get in touch with us at Ascentspark Software for the same, or a consultation or demo – free of charge, of course -- in case you have any plans to get into the VOD or video streaming service, or even any innovative idea that can be brought into utilization therein.