Connected TVs in the era of ‘contextual entertainment’

Chris Jaffe, vice president of Product Innovation at Netflix talking media at a regional media conference in Singapore on October 25, 2017. InterAksyon file photo

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — What else will consumers want out of their entertainment experience in the future?

For leading video streaming provider Netflix they believe that while consumers access their favorite TV shows and films across a number of electronic devices in the age of streaming, the television still endures as the primary viewing device for consumers across Asia Pacific.

“As entertainment shifts online, consumers are discovering that they have more control over their viewing experiences than ever before,” said Chris Jaffe, vice president of Product Innovation at Netflix. “What they’re looking for today is choice, quality and greater flexibility, and these demands are driving new trends that are shaping the future of entertainment.”

Across Asia Pacific today, Netflix users are using between three and five different internet-connected devices for their entertainment needs, completing their binges on everything from smartphones to smart TVs.

“We are moving into an era of multi-device connectivity and contextual entertainment,” Jaffe said

It is clear that no single device dominates the future of entertainment. Instead, as Jaffe said,is about contextual entertainment: where consumers access their favorite shows on any device they want, in a way that fits seamlessly with where they are connecting from.

With the pivot towards contextual entertainment, streaming on TV devices has grown with 48% of Netflix viewing hours in the Philippines and 61% across Asia Pacific through connected TVs. Smart TVs lead the charge as the most popular connected TV device.

This is followed by media streaming devices such as Apple TVs, Rokus or Chromecasts and game consoles like Xboxes and Playstations. Even the evolving set top box has become a popular choice for Netflix members in the region.

Despite increasing mobility, the TV remains the enduring centrepiece of the consumer’s entertainment experience with the shift from the linear to connected world. Consumers today are now discovering a new world of entertainment in their homes on connected TVs.

“People have always enjoyed watching TV and this won’t change anytime soon,” said Jaffe “The beauty of connected TVs is that they’re able to exploit the best part of the conventional linear TV experience, while leveraging all of the benefits of connected technology. Consumers can now enjoy big screen time at home that is personalized to their unique tastes and preferences, on-demand, immersive and interactive. As consumers discover this with Netflix, the more they love their connected TV experience.”

In the Asia Pacific region, Netflix finds that while majority of membership signups are through mobile devices and laptops, consumers move on to discover the connected TV experience. Within six months of subscription, 41% of accounts’ primary viewing device in the Philippines and 60% in Asia Pacific become connected TVs. These members across the region are also spending twice as long watching on their connected TVs as they do on their mobile devices. This behavior points to the growing demand for connected TV viewing and relatedly, sales of Smart TVs in the region have increased 40% over the last year .

Innovation in TV technology is also driving audio-visual entertainment experiences right in consumers’ homes. Sales of Ultra HD 4K TV in the region have surged 103% over the past 12 months , and consumers can now also access top-quality entertainment, not just on full-fledged home theater systems, but on sound bars and headsets.

“These audio-video innovations come at a time when there is a growing library of high-quality content available for streaming,” said Jaffe. “Netflix has endless hours of Ultra HD 4K and High Dynamic Range (HDR) content; and more than half of our catalogue already supports 5.1 surround sound. We have also just announced our support for Dolby Atmos three-dimensional sound.”

Titles on Netflix that support Dolby Atmos include Okja, BLAME!, Death Note. Over the next few months, the highly-anticipated Stranger Things Season 2, Marvel’s The Punisher and Bright (starring Will Smith) will also be joining Netflix’s library of exceptional audio-visual quality to make for a delightful home streaming experience.

InterAksyon file photo