The Era of Smart Entertainment Solutions: Mobility & its Impact

Date:   Friday , April 15, 2016

Headquartered in Georgia, U.S., YuppTV provides OTT content through Live TV, Catch-up TV and Blockbuster Movies and enables the consumers to access their favorite entertainment shows from any place at their convenient time

There was once a time when families used to gather in the living room to watch their favourite shows, while households frequently witnessed pitched battles over control of the television remote. Television used to be the unchallenged first screens for entertainment across the globe during this golden era of its domination. Times however have changed drastically since. In today\'s rapidly evolving market dynamics, with technology having disrupted every aspect of the global market, digital entertainment solutions have emerged as the new normal.

Consider the consumer data consumption and viewing patterns for proof. The video content consumption, which currently contributes to over 40 percent of the total mobile data traffic in India, is expected to increase to 70 percent by 2018. Our own internal data corroborates these findings - the YuppTV mobile app contributes to approximately 62 percent of our total views within India. We receive 66 percent more views through our mobile platform than we do through our website, which leads to a 15 percent difference in the time spent on mobile and desktop applications. The difference becomes even starker when considering the global data. Not only does the mobile app contribute around 71 percent to our total traffic, but the number of views on the app also eclipses website views by 144 percent. Our users, on average, spend up to seven more minutes on our app than they do on our website; as a result, the total time spent on the app is nine times more than the time spent on the website.

The implications of these stats are clear - consumers have well and truly adopted portable entertainment offerings into their everyday content consumption behaviour. But why are consumers moving away from television and looking for more portable options of accessing entertainment content? The evolution of smartphones and the rise of the mobile-first user base have to be considered prime factors driving this shift in consumer behaviour. In today\'s perpetually-online world, the users are connected to the digital medium at all times through a host of smart devices and have grown used to accessing services on-the-go.

Needless to say, the entertainment industry, one of the most technologically adaptive businesses, has evolved with the changing consumer preferences to deliver what the users want. There are now cloud-based applications with libraries full of popular shows, movies and other video content delivering entertainment of the consumer\'s choice over-the-top (OTT), while the development of more powerful devices and better infrastructure has also enabled live streaming services that allow real-time viewing of shows and sports on any compatible screen. All this has led to the inception of a new era of digital entertainment solutions which centre on mobility, connectivity and anytime accessibility.

What has also changed is the way consumers approach their entertainment now. No longer restricted to the confines of a living room, entertainment has at once become a highly personal as well as an extremely social experience. While viewers have the convenience of anytime accessibility to the entertainment content of their choice, they also prefer to engage with their larger social circles by sharing frequent updates as to what they are watching. As such, entertainment providers are increasingly tailoring their offerings to suit this mobility-led approach, as can be demonstrated by the rise of several OTT content players within the country and on a global scale.

But if you think that portable entertainment is restricted to smartphones and tablets, you are in for a big surprise. The rapid technological advancements mean that devices are constantly being moulded and remoulded to deliver interconnectivity, leading to a constant change in the use-case scenarios. There are now smart watches that allow you to carry your entertainment content right on your wrist, while in-vehicle integrations of mobile devices are also becoming very popular amongst users. The World Wide Web has transformed itself into the Internet of Things, and interconnected devices are now a tangible, prevalent reality. Imagine picking up the movie you were watching last night on your Smart TV right where you left off on your mobile phone as you commute to the office!

In this ever changing scenario, it is very likely that we might see several other new developments within the next few years that will completely redefine the entertainment experience. Context-aware applications that identify their physical surroundings, nearby devices and users are becoming more and more proliferate, and will lead to the development of a community-based viewing experience on a user\'s personal device. Virtual reality and reality augmentation technologies are also increasingly being explored to make them more affordable and widespread; Facebook\'s acquisition of the Oculus project is a development that the entire entertainment industry is keenly following. It is expected that we will, within the next couple of decades, have wearable smart glasses that will offer a personalised virtual reality entertainment experience for the viewers.

Given these arguments, it will be nigh upon impossible to argue that we are currently witnessing the dawn of a new era - an era of portable entertainment solutions. The access has definitely improved, as has the overall experience. The best part? The industry is still evolving. A far cry from having to tape your favourite shows just for the fear of missing them, isn\'t it?