As the traditional television ship continues to sink, networks and content providers are increasingly forced to look for other ways to deliver their content to their target audiences. This shift in consumer viewing habits, while at first fought by the major content providers, is showing no signs of slowing down. As a result, communication companies around the world are at a bit of a cross-roads.
On the one hand, these companies have operated in a certain way for so long that they seem most unwilling to abandon the structured form of branding that they have profited through from their inception. However, as Internet Protocol Television, IPTV for short, continues to become a viable market, these large communication companies are having to rethink their strategies.
In this article, we wanted to dive a little further into the challenges that major communication companies are facing and how, whether they want to admit it or not, it is becoming increasingly important for content providers to look into IPTV solutions as a viable delivery service for their products.
Branding, Branding, And More Branding
With the introduction of IPTV, major content providers are quickly realizing that they will need to adapt to meet shifting consumer demands. IPTV has opened the door to a wide range of new brands in the form of specialized content and presents many branding challenges to companies who are trying to target specific audiences. Think about it: before the introduction of IPTV, major communications companies only had to worry about a few brands (channel, show, company).
Now, however, companies are having to deal with seven levels of brands: broadcast brands, platform brands, channel brands, program brands, studio brands, VOD brands, and a plethora of other brands related to web broadcasting. With this many brands to contend with, how does a communications company effectively brand to their audience? While IPTV is the natural evolution of communication services, companies are slowly figuring out that the branding of their services must evolve as well.
By far the easiest message for a communication brand to get across in the world of IPTV is the level of convenience that this platform offers to consumers. IPTV set-top-boxes (STB) allow consumers to easily reach multiple services at once in a nice, neat way. For companies looking to expand upon their IPTV branding, they should not focus so much on individual products that they offer through the IPTV STB, but instead should harp that the “product” that the consumer is using is another extension of the brand.
For example, say that a person is watching a show from NBC through an official NBC app. While in the app, NBC branding is taken care of; however, what happens if the consumer suddenly switched to Netflix? Netflix offers shows that are produced by NBC; however, the consumer may not realize this if they are consuming the content through the Netflix app as opposed to the official NBC app.
The easiest solution is to simply brand the show within the Netflix app itself. A small watermark or a quick “brought to you by NBC” effectively promotes your brand across multiple platforms, ensuring that you don’t lose out on branding power when providing content through multiple services.
I Want to Brand Through IPTV, What Should I Do?
If you are a communications company or a content provider looking to take advantage of the growing IPTV market, it is important that you plan carefully. When planning how to best implement an IPTV brand, consider the following:
- Content aggregation is essential. Having 8,000 movies with no way for people to easily search through them or find titles that are relevant to their interests will do your brand no good.
- Your brand must convince potential customers that it will attract good content and deliver on that content. If your service only provides channels or movies that people don’t really care about, retention rates will drop significantly.
- If you want to pair your brand with a hardware provider your brand needs to address why that particular hardware was chosen. What does it offer that other hardware doesn’t? How do people get the hardware? Is IT support included?
Once the above points are considered, the potential IPTV brand needs to plan on how it is going to fully take advantage of revenue models by engaging potential audiences. In a culture where broadcasting brands are becoming increasingly concerned about their role in the world of media, it is important for those wishing to get into the IPTV game to remember what the role of a broadcasting brand is.
Broadcasting brands are there to relay to the consumer that the content provided by the specific broadcaster is quality content. While IPTV has given the consumer increasing control over what they watch and how they watch it, people are still rather dependent on certain branding to tell them what is worth watching and what is not.
A perfect example of effective branding in the IPTV sector is Netflix. Netflix originally started as a delivery vehicle for people to consume other branded content; Netflix acted as the service that provided the product. However, in recent years Netflix has also started to become the producer of content. Netflix leveraged their service brand into a successful content brand. The beauty with which they pulled off this masterful use of branding will serve as a guideline for IPTV brands for years to come.
While we realize this was a lot of information to take in, all of it is important to remember if you want to build a successful IPTV brand. The future is ripe for new brands, especially in the IPTV sector. End-to-end IPTV solutions providers will help you achieve your dream.
End-to-end IPTV solutions include the set-top-box, IPTV middleware, encoders, streamers, training, and monitoring that you need to successfully enter the IPTV market. Additionally, it is a good option when the set-top-box can be customized to reflect your brand, further solidifying your branding in the minds of your target audience.
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