Me and My TV - How Can we Connect?
Today, I spoke at the Digital TV Group (DTG) Summit in London. For those who don’t know, the DTG is the industry association for digital television in the UK, so I was keen to share my thoughts with them about how “Connected” or “Smart” TVs fit with our strategy, their huge potential in the future, but also the real need to improve today’s audience experience on these devices.
The aim of my presentation was to convince the group that if connected TV is going to be successful with mainstream audiences, using a connected TV needs to be no more complicated than channel flipping. And I firmly believe that this is achievable; that there’s no reason connected TV can’t be that simple to use.
Making connected TV simple requires focus and dedication to delivering on behalf of all audiences. It requires making experiences that flow elegantly and naturally from broadcast TV.
People buy TVs first and foremost so they can watch great programmes, so connected TV experiences need to focus on making those experiences better. With 98% of BBC viewing time spent on linear television, it follows that connected TV experiences should start with broadcast TV.
We’re seeing huge growth of BBC iPlayer on Connected TVs – not surprising as TV is of course best on TV. But at the moment iPlayer gets four times as much traffic on the Apple iPad alone, despite the fact there are more than twice as many connected TVs as iPads in the UK .
We know there’s an appetite out there for Connected TVs. In the last year, iPlayer on the PC grew by 14%. On the tablet, iPlayer grew an impressive 580%. But on the TV, iPlayer grew more than 10-fold.
It’s early days, and there’s far more we can do to make connected TV deliver the fullness of its potential to our audiences, but the trend is inspiring.
Today when we change channels we don’t think about the technology that lies beneath. But when we use a connected TV, we do. For connected TV to truly delight audiences in the future – to build on the last year’s impressive growth – using a connected TV needs to be dead simple. To delight audiences with what connected TV makes possible, we need to make the technology disappear.
That’s one reason why Red Button services are so successful. Their simplicity is no accident; it follows years of experimentation.
In a connected world, the Red Button can transform into an effortless way to bring what we traditionally think of as Internet services directly to our audience, right on the TV. Users need not even realise that behind the scenes, they’ve switched between broadcast and broadband technologies.
And this is great news for the roughly 25% of Red Button users who don’t use the BBC’s online services.
Simply tune into any BBC channel, press Red, and immerse yourself in enhancements around the programme you’re watching. It will be joined up with broadcast TV, not separate from it. It will combine the breadth of our online content with the simplicity of television.
If you’re interested in more from me, you can watch my presentation (above). As always, keen to hear your thoughts.
Daniel Danker is General Manager, Programmes & On-Demand