One Big Idea by Atul Phadnis: TV search poised to be the big game changer!

26 Feb,2013

By Atul Phadnis, CEO, What’s-On-India


Digital TV homes in India will soon in the next few months, overtake analogue TV homes. Besides the digital TV wave via cable and DTH, we are also seeing mobile TV and OTT as new modes of TV distribution. In this environment, the one big idea that never ceases to amaze me is TV content search!


As channels proliferate and increase in existing and newer genres including regional, adventure sports, crime, science, education, etc, we are seeing a dramatic consumer dependence on the EPG for navigational and search purposes. The EPGs are set to evolve and become more ‘Indianised’, with increased coverage and regional focus via translations into Indian languages.


Newer STBs and DVRs have improved search

In newer STBs, viewers will be able to search by actors, moods, genres – leading to a richer user experience. However, the day is not far where viewers will be able to save their preferences via an individual, personalized login. Search is set to get personalized…


Effect of abundant choice on viewers

A host of studies that we have conducted reveal a fall in appointment viewing and an increase in unplanned or random viewing due to a bigger basket of choice per each average viewer.


So how will viewers find their favourite shows in the future, especially when they get more than 500 channels?


Search is one step from consumption

In all the observations we are seeing with viewer behaviour, one consistent insight coming through is that viewers are always searching for TV shows before viewing/consumption. Whether that search is on the EPG or a crude search via channel surfing or a very intuitive search on our apps, we as viewers like to sift through options before we settle on the programmes that we watch.


In the future, we expect that search will explain consumption to a great extent.


Game changer?

TV search will continue to play a key role in shaping viewership and channel choices in the coming days. The funny thing is these changes are happening so seamlessly – so much so that very soon, we will be asking ourselves how such a major transformation could take place in just one blink!


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