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Too Much to Watch: The TV Experience's Next Act

Thomas Limbüchler
Thomas Limbüchler
Managing Partner Strategy
Traditional television and streaming services have made tremendous strides in the past decade, offering an entirely new way to access entertainment content. But, as the landscape has matured, consumers point to three issues eroding the customer experience.
Too Much to Watch: The TV Experience's Next Act

In this article, we explore the various reasons for consumer frustration, how a new aggregator role will help put the joy back into the entertainment experience, and what this has to do with the business transformation of TV-MEDIA.

Picture the Scene

It’s Saturday night, and you (and your partner or family) are excited to settle in on the couch with a good movie – only to find it frustratingly difficult to search the content available across free TV and your streaming providers. You spend 10 minutes jumping back and forth across providers, only to come up empty. And the recommendations you have received for “movies you might like” are laughingly off-base and of no help. Besides putting a damper on what was supposed to be an enjoyable evening, the entire experience reminds you how little of the content you’re paying for across these providers and networks you actually watch or are interested in – and, in turn, how much money you’re wasting.

Does that sound familiar? It does to many consumers, who are increasingly being turned off by the current linear (free TV) and non-linear (streaming and video on demand) TV experience. Although streaming has opened up a new way for people to access content, the experience has become unwieldy, unfriendly, and expensive.

Today’s consumers identify three main issues eroding their TV experience.

1. Frustrating “Rabbit Holes”

While growth in streaming services and free TV has given consumers an explosion in choice, it’s also created considerable complexity. With media companies adopting multiple services, consumers must manually browse through platforms, screens, and menus until they eventually find what they’re looking for. Navigating through is like entering different rabbit holes, each with its own entry and exit – a turnoff for consumers.

2. Inefficient Bundles

Increasing monthly payments for services are a growing problem. In fact, many consumers are approaching their upper limit. Consumers also feel they’re paying for a lot of content they never watch and are not interested in. Compounding the problem for providers is a troubling state of brand loyalty among consumers for a particular provider or service. Consumers care more about the content delivered than the service itself. And that’s tenuous ground for providers to operate on.

3. Scattered Algorithms

Unfortunately, most consumers today experience incomplete or inaccurate recommendations and, therefore, often irrelevant content. That's because only their own remote truly knows everything they watch. Many algorithms generate recommendations based on an incomplete viewing history, and those recommendations can be wildly off base. Furthermore, relying on the algorithm to pitch consumers shows doesn’t allow consumers to tune the model except through actual show selection. Not surprisingly, consumers want to be able to use their watching profile detached from each service and across platforms to personalize content better and make more relevant recommendations.

Time to Give Consumers Greater Control Over Their Experience

The three issues consumers have with the current TV ecosystem all point to their desire to have far greater control over their experience. They want to navigate the rabbit holes more easily, have greater choices, pay for only what they want, and “talk back” to the algorithm to help it do a better job of recommending content.

A new and better solution and experience could address the challenges and complexities that consumers currently face.

A New Player Enters the Market

Together with our client, we believe a significant change to the ecosystem is needed to bring technology and people together in a way that puts people first: the addition of a smart aggregator – like TV-MEDIA – across multiple platforms to increase viewers’ control over the content they watch.

An aggregator like TV-MEDIA can play an essential role in eliminating the three major issues currently plaguing the customer experience and frustrating consumers. TV-MEDIA solves these three weaknesses of the current experience. It:

  • Unifies the experience to create seamless access across broadcast television and streaming services (also including other forms of entertainment, such as cinema, music and podcast services, and video games in the future).
  • Fosters flexibility by serving as a single platform that enables viewers to select precisely what they want to watch, such as categories of specific shows, regardless of who’s providing it.
  • Personalizes the experience by providing seamless navigation and curation across streaming services, created in collaboration with and for every individual.

But TV-MEDIA is much more. It’s not only an aggregator but also a trustworthy curator. How is that possible? TV-MEDIA was and still is a TV magazine with a whole editorial team and, therefore, a lot of expertise, differentiating it from aggregators-only platforms. It is a comprehensive and reliable source for television enthusiasts, helping them stay informed about their favorite shows, discover new content, and make well-informed viewing decisions. It offers users access to the content of broadcast television and all relevant streaming services – and combines both –, indexing more than 3.4 million movie, show, actor, and cast pages, editor reviews for thousands of them, and curated recommendations for traditional television and streaming services.

What’s the Road Ahead?

Platforms like TV-MEDIA will be critical to resolving customer frustrations and helping to realize the payoff of the cord-cutting vision.

To stay on top, the Law of Gravity will be our guide. Objects, as they obtain mass, draw other objects to them. Obtaining that mass doesn’t come from an inward focus on our own subscriber growth. We continue improving to help our consumers easily explore, discover, and experience all of that mass. That means delivering convenience, better personalization, a bevy of compelling ways to spend time, and possible pricing efficiencies that attract and retain consumers. Finally, trust and security must rule as consumers increasingly put their lives in our hands.

There’s no doubt. Aggregation is coming. Consumers want it, and the industry as a whole needs it. Search less, watch more – TV-MEDIA.