NOW TV gets an upgrade, Streaming services boost TV viewers, and Roku pushes boundaries of OTT tech : DTG Daily News February 1st 2016

NOW TV gets an upgrade

NOW TV, Sky’s OTT TV streaming service, has announced plans to launch its most advanced set-top box.

The NOW TV Smart Box will house the service provider’s range of pay TV content and live free-to-air channels.

All of this is displayed through a brand new user interface, which has features such as content recommendations over catch-up TV apps and the best pay TV content on offer. The combination of digital terrestrial programming and pay-TV puts the box in direct competition with YouView and Freeview Play.

“And when the new NOW TV Smart Box arrives later this year, it will be the perfect one-stop box to get a contract-free, flexible way of watching the best of pay TV and free-to-air content all in one place,” said Gidon Katz, Director of NOW TV.

The NOW TV Smart Box was developed by Roku Inc, and will sit alongside the existing NOW TV Box. Pricing is TBC.

Streaming services boost TV viewers

Horowitz Research’s Multiplatform Content and Services, Wave 2 2015 survey have revealed that consumer friendly streaming services such as Netflix have kickstarted a surge in increased television viewing.

31 per cent of OTT viewers watch more TV compared to five years ago. This has even had a positive effect on live TV as well, with viewers catching up on past episodes and then continuing onto the currently airing season live.

Streaming services have become the go-to destination for TV content, with 54 per cent of 18-34-year-olds preferring to pick Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime over live TV. Of these services, Netflix is the most popular, with 39 per cent picking it first.

Only 24 per cent of 18-34-year-old viewers would pick live TV as their first option.

“The business model will need to evolve to keep up with what the consumer has come to expect of the TV experience,” said Adriana Waterston, Horowitz’s senior vice president of insights and strategy, for consumers

Roku pushes boundaries of OTT tech

In addition to developing the recently announced Now TV Smart Box, streaming platform specialist Roku has another project on the go.

A hybrid set-top box will be available for production later this year, enabling operators to provide linear and streaming services through a single device.

This new box also gives operators the chance to provide more in-depth content recommendations to customers and really personalize the home screen.

“With the new Roku Powered hybrid set-top box we are enabling operators to bridge the gap between linear broadcast and streaming TV services,” said Andrew Ferrone, vice president pay-TV at Roku. “Many consumers have a hybrid viewing pattern and leverage both traditional broadcast and on-demand or catch-up services.”

DTG Staff  |  01.02.2016

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