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Following three days in Berlin at a leading industry conference (Nextv Series Europe & CEE), TiVo’s Business Development Director, Lisette Preston-Barnes and Senior Director of Customer Solutions, Pat Byrden answered some questions for us about the future of TV and the media industry.

Q: One popular topic of discussion was whether TV would exist in five years. What are your thoughts?

Lisette: I really do believe so. TV is the predominant entertainment source in the house, as it’s the larger screen (and getting larger) that delivers a high-quality entertainment experience. The majority of video viewing is done on the large screen in the home. This isn’t about one replacing the other, but having multiple ways for people to access content. TV is just evolving.

Pat: Of course! Mobile devices and TVs have very different roles within a viewer’s life. Mobile devices are for on-the-go, solo watching, browsing and so on, but the TV has always had – and still has – a vital role in bringing people together or for that more “lean back” viewing experience.

Q: What’s the biggest challenge facing the TV and entertainment industry as we head into 2020?

Pat: People want to be served content, but they’re drowning in a world of too many platforms, too many programs and, frankly, too many decisions to make. We must make this easier before any of our commercial ambitions can become a reality. When you’re time-poor and looking for something to watch, if your provider knows you well, it can be like having your own personal assistant. We’re already doing this around the world and we’re seeing great results.

Monetization is an additional challenge and TiVo utilizes personalization data from our PCD products to enable content creators / studios to advertise content on UIs through Sponsored Discovery — a targeted asset promotion which leads to increased engagement.

Lisette: I think a lot of great work is being done, but a lot of it is happening in isolation. Unless we combine our efforts, progress will be slow and, ultimately, we won’t be doing what’s best for the viewer. I spoke around addressable TV advertising on a panel discussion and that’s only going to work if we can standardize and accept there needs to be an element of consistency. We simply can’t sell advertising if we can’t measure its efficacy, and without a standardized trading model and currency across linear and OTT platforms – as well as improved data flow and exchange – that won’t be possible.

Q: Addressable TV advertising … what is it, and why is it important? 

Lisette: In a nutshell, addressable TV advertising is the application of personalized advertising at its best and on the large screen. It’s the ability to show different ads to different households while they’re watching the same program. Audiences can be segmented and the ads tailored to fit the profile of those particular audiences. It means a campaign can be far more effective in reaching a specific audience with better efficiencies and measurable outcomes. It’s hugely important for the future of advertising on TV.

Q: What inspires you most about recent developments in the media industry?

Lisette: We’re in a state of change where media consumption is really evolving. We have the technology to serve people a truly tailored, bespoke offering. As a viewer, if you’re tired of the stuff you normally watch, we have the data to join the dots on what you might like that you haven’t even discovered yet. That, for me, is the most exciting part of what we do: we’re opening up new realms of content for people and making it easy for them to find, watch and enjoy great content.

Pat: That’s an easy one for me: voice. I said it a lot at Nextv Series Europe and I’m going to keep on banging that drum. If we allow viewers to control their experience with their voices, we can cut out multiple steps on the UI. We’re not only making life simpler for our customers, but platforms and broadcasters. We don’t need to keep redesigning and complicating our UI to ensure they can get where they want to go, because they’ll get there with a simple command word. With the rise of voice-activated digital assistants, we’re at the beginning of discovering what a smart home really is. Integrating this into the media and entertainment industry is imperative to ensure we stay relevant not only in our industry, but in consumers’ homes.

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