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STBs are dead… or are they?

TVTen years ago, the living room of the average family was a simple affair, with a TV, DVD player, possibly a VHS, and an STB from their Pay TV provider, all on a nice TV stand or table. Fast forward to now and the consumer home is very different. They have TVs (flat screen and much larger than their CRT of 2006) with Connected TV features, still an upscaling DVD or Blu-ray player, the VHS is gone, the Pay TV providers STB is still there but providing more advanced features and now there is a mass of other devices now sprinkled around the house. There is an Xbox or Playstation, maybe a Roku or a FireTV, or even a Google TV. Around the house there may be a Chromecast or even a geeky HDMI PC, a sprinkling of other devices such as Smartphones, Tablets, laptops and maybe even a Chromebook. Whereas before there might have been a PC in the study, now there is a proliferation of computing use around the home through the deployment of ubiquitous high’ish speed wifi connecting all of these devices to the Internet.

The average home has gone from one or two connected devices to upwards of 20 for the more advanced consumer.

Many in the industry and outside have a belief that STBs are dying but the evidence that you can see in your own home and in the above description show that STBs are now even more populous than ever. If you spread the interpretation of what makes an STB further to include tablets and smartphones, then the average home has something like 10x what was in the home in 2006. STBs are far from dead, and they are definitely NOT dying no matter what some industry experts might say. The reasons are several, but the key ones for us is about the control on the customer experience, and the growth of more sources of content than the singular home of 2006.

For content providers, being available on as many sources as possible is very important. For platform operators it is critical to ensure your brand and experience is available via these devices. Customers are following the content.

Content provider, owner, aggregator, platform operator or device provider, Fairmile West has the consultancy expertise to help you with ensure your strategic alignment, product design, or delivery success. Contact us to learn more.

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