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WebTV insights and perspectives – A web 2.0 phenomenon is coining new TV usage patterns

InfoCom Competence Center - 2008

WebTV has moved out of its niche position of providing entertainment for teenage users to become a serious rival in web entertainment. In the US, the number of videos streamed over the web to the PC has increased by 66% in 2007, reaching more than 10 billion videos viewed. In Germany, the figure is 2.1 billion, and the average viewer there already spends more than two hours a day watching 90 WebTV videos per month. According to the study "WebTV insights and perspectives – A web 2.0 phenomenon is coining new TV usage patterns" by Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, WebTV is becoming an integral part of the living room entertainment sphere.

Once on the TV screen, WebTV will compete directly with established players, benefiting from interactivity, on-demand accessibility and extensive communication and personalization features. This trend will be reinforced as the majority of ad-funded WebTV offers will probably remain free for end-consumers in the future.

The industry analysis is derived from project experiences with major international telecommunications operators as well as medium and large media players.

The future development of WebTV offerings will be strongly influenced by multi-device accessibility and multi-screen consumption patterns. Computer, mobile and TV screens will become similar in importance but have different implications on the design of WebTV offerings. In particular, the convenience of accessing WebTV offerings via TV screens will create competition with established operators and broadcasters.

WebTV players will offer HD megahit VoD libraries or aggregate their contents in premium and niche linear content offerings. "These mainstream products will massively compete for media time and budgets with established premium offerings – once they've been enriched with WebTV capabilities. These include interactive advertising, time and place shift functionalities, socialization and personalization features as well as publishing and communication possibilities," says Alexander Mogg, Partner and broadband and media expert at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants.

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