2018 was a busy year for us at Liberty Global. As we celebrate our achievements, it is important to look towards the future and at what 2019 may bring. Mark Giesbers, our VP for Entertainment Products, shares his top predictions for what’s in store for entertainment in 2019 and what it will mean for customers.
An ‘Over the Top explosion’ is set to unfold in 2019 in terms of how we watch TV. Netflix had already changed the way people consumed content, but we ain’t seen nothing yet. Amazon Video will be everywhere, Disney+ is coming, Apple will launch their own VOD service – and there will undoubtedly be others trying to stamp their mark. There will be so much awesome new content created – more binge-worthy series and acclaimed movies – you’ll need 36-hour days to watch it all.
2019 will also be the year of ‘multiscreen first’. Everything we develop will be made with ‘a great experience on any screen’ (such as mobile devices) in mind, rather than focusing primarily on a set-top box connected to a TV.
Within the Liberty footprint, we will see the first countries passing the 50% mark in terms of active users of mobile TV (within the entitled base). So, in those countries one in two customers will be using their mobile device or laptop to watch TV, on replay and on demand. Those are amazing stats – and with our upcoming launches of Apple TV and Android TV apps, which will be responding to a clear desire from customers, that trend will only accelerate.
Last but not least: Voice. 2019 will be the year it comes of age. It will be further driven by the steady growth of connected speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Home, but also via our own voice remote control. I wonder which customers we will find are most easily ‘hooked’ on it – it might just be customer segments such as young kids or elderly folks. Let’s see!
It’s going to be an even more exciting time for customers from an entertainment point of view. There will be more great content, it will be everywhere on even more devices, and getting to it will be easier thanks to technology like voice.
For us as a business, there will also be new opportunities. Customers will be eager to get help from someone who can do the content aggregation for them – providing access to everything, in one easy to use UI, on any device, wherever they are. Luckily, we’ve built exactly that with the Horizon 4 & GO platforms. So I am confident we are on the right track in terms of maintaining a relevant position in people’s homes and lives.