If you’ve been following the @thecalixnetwork tweets this week, you probably know that I’m in New Orleans for the TelcoTV tradeshow. We’ve already had a lot going on, with Solutions Director Juan Vela speaking yesterday, CEO Carl Russo’s keynote this morning and the announcement that the Calix E3-48 sealed access node won the TelcoTV Vision award in the Innovation in Broadband Access Networks category. In addition to all this Calix news, I’ve attended a number of informative sessions and wanted to share my observations.
What makes for compelling television?
Yesterday’s service provider keynote featured Jeff Weber, vice president of U-verse and video products for AT&T. His presentation made a compelling argument for creating the sticky services that will keep customers heavily engaged. Jeff believes that better TV makes the difference and he advocates three areas of focus
- Put the customer first
U-verse is not just a TV brand; there are online, mobile and app version as well and there is a common UI across all of the applications. Why? Because customers expect the experience to remain the same no matter what device is being used. Because of that AT&T focuses on enabling customer access and control as much as possible.
- Enhance the custom experience
AT&T has developed a series of apps that allow their customers to interact with their televisions in new and different ways. For example, their Santa tracker app is accessed by more than 45% of their customers on Christmas Eve. In Chicago, their Cubs baseball app puts the viewer in complete control of the game, allowing them to choose the camera angles they’d like to see. The more the customers can get involved, the higher the customer satisfaction scores
- Evolve and innovate
Last, by continuing to evolve the service, Jeff believes that you will continue to remain relevant. This week, AT&T announced that they are going to begin selling a wireless set-top box, and they plan to launch a series of socially enabled apps that allow customers to changes the channel from their smart phone and interact online to discuss the television program they are watching.
How do you monetize television?
Following Jeff’s presentation, he sat in on a “monetizing the multi-screen” panel. Other speakers included representatives from TDG Analysis, Starz and Nielsen. While there was much discussion about additional revenue from advertising or the potential for charging a small sum to offer services on many devices, the panelists seem to have concluded that multi-screen offerings are more about customer satisfaction than additional revenue money for the provider. As proof, Colin Dixon of TDG stated that of the 25% of surveyed consumers who report that they would be willing to pay for this service, less than 5% would be willing to pay more than $5.
TelcoTV is live streaming all their main stage presentation so if you’re not in attendance; I encourage you to drop in on some of the session. Or, you can always check back tomorrow when I will have more to report.