During the last Nextv Series South America’s virtual edition, a panel called ‘The new pay TV goes to Android TV’ was held. For the debate, Dataxis gathered different industry executives who are experts on the subject, such as Leopoldo Spiess, Deputy Manager of B2B Product Development at Entel Chile; Mario de Oliveira Madeira, CTO at Nuevo Siglo; Marcelo Coggan, CTO at TCC Uruguay & Zeta TV; Gustavo Lapid, CEO at Ip-Tel; and Nic Wilson, Head of Customer Success at TiVo.
According to de Oliveira’s point of view, ‘in our case, Android TV was a natural way of developing ourselves on other platforms, beyond the ones we had, taking into account that there was growth at the level of devices and TVs that already have Android TV natively. For this reason, it seemed natural for us to bring our applications to that operating system. It seemed like a natural evolution, beyond the differences in the interfaces, and a way to follow the trend of what is happening. In the future, we are not planning to launch Android TV on a hybrid platform’, he said. Also, according to Coggan, ‘we have had a hybrid box since 2013, with standards based on Linux. Time went on, and, after several discussions, we have been working for a year on our hybrid box with Android TV, which will be launched in the first months of next year’.
‘When you have Linux and you have to do your own development, that means a cost. Android boxes, which already have a basic structure, already provide significant savings’, Spiess highlighted. Likewise, regarding the advantages of the migration of pay TV operators to Android TV, Wilson highlighted that some of them are ‘hardware facilities; the ease of acquiring a greater number of third-party apps and content on HDMI 1, and the investment that Google makes in adding apps’.
Regarding the link between Android TV and OTT aggregation, and the main challenges, Lapid reported that ‘basically, it has to do with the position of the operator in the market. In our case, regarding the Android Open Source system, we believe that it is a good element to create something to differentiate itself from other operators and have added value associated with that brand. Particularly, we have not yet ventured into that and we are dedicated to delivering the service on the Android TV platform, and, for the time being, we are targeting that aspect of the business’. Regarding the platform, the executive assured that they are fully dedicated to the full Android TV platform (they put aside hybrid systems), and, according to his statements, ‘in the future, we believe that we will apply development to be able to give a different quality service to our clients, and to be able to differentiate them’. The executive also emphasized the importance of local content, which ‘has a lot of weight. By adding this content, we have good feedback from our clients’.
This way, de Oliveira reported that ‘whoever ends up adding the content and applications they want is the customer. The idea is that the operator can integrate all the content available, but there will always be something else, and there is the difference. Technically, it will be much easier to integrate the contents within the operator’s ecosystem into an Android TV STB. But, finally, the customer will be the one who decides what they want to watch. Many times, these contents and applications are not going to have any relationship with the operator. But, clearly, the fact of being in Android TV makes the integration easier’. Coggan agreed that it is the customer who chooses what they want to consume. ‘We must try to see what clients consume and add that content’, he said. Spiess also agreed, and assured that ‘if we are not able to deliver what the customer wants to consume, he will consume it anyway, and the only one who will not have the customer within its ecosystem will be the operator’. The executive also opined that the operator should ‘try to deliver a distinctive experience to the client, with local content, see how the metadata can be adjusted for local schedules (something that a global content aggregator cannot do), and others. These experiences are key and the operators there have an advantage’, he ended.