The traditional model of content viewership has been fundamentally disrupted. Studios, content owners and producers simply do not have the same control over when and how people consume their content.
Last week the fourth season of popular Netflix series House of Cards became available to subscribers, quickly trending on Twitter in this relevant US presidential election year. If you are one of the estimated 5 million people who will view the series, then the idea of ‘binge-watching’ as many episodes as you wish is now just the new normal. But when Season One was launched in February 2013, the notion of releasing an entire season at once and giving consumers choice over when to watch each episode was a new and innovative approach.
The traditional model of content viewership has been fundamentally disrupted. Studios, content owners and producers simply do not have the same control over when and how people consume their content. Netflix has been an important part of this trend, but the company can’t take all the credit. There is no shortage of innovations giving content consumers greater choice and power.
‘Democratization’ of video content has in many ways been a good thing, but it has also put many industry players under a lot of pressure. At 24i we see our mission as helping content owners, operators and broadcasters keep a piece of the $500 billion TV industry pie they once controlled, and we do that by allowing them to adapt to the cutting edge technologies and ways of thinking that have caused the disruption in the first place.
Our company’s history stretches back to the days of very first internet-connected TVs in 2009. At that time, we were one of the first to experiment with the development of TV apps. But because the industry was – and is – so fragmented now, we had to rebuild each application over and over again for different TV brands and platforms.
That is why we have built the innovative AppCore, which allows apps to be developed that seamlessly integrate with various devices and platforms, including connected TVs, Set Top Box boxes, mobile devices, tablets and game consoles. Among a number of products in our 24i Shop, our Smart Apps can also be easily used by the disruptive insurgents in the world of TV such as Roku, Apple TV, Android, or gaming console. We have also developed a 24i Studio, which provides custom solutions to larger broadcasters and the 24i Factory, helping other TV app developers use our leading building blocks.
While we are now a global company, our headquarters in Amsterdam put us in a unique position to innovate in this space. Often described as a technology “guinea pig” the Netherlands is a perfect testing place for new products and services. With a population of 17 million well-educated tech-lovers, high levels of English literacy and world-leading broadband connections, the Dutch are thought leaders in digital media and entertainment technology.
So we have teamed up with six of our compatriots to form Dutch Media Innovators, a consortium of forward-thinking organizations passionate about digital media.
But we also recognize that the United States – in many ways the birthplace of television – is also home to innovators, entrepreneurs and individuals eager to see innovation in content delivery and consumption.
Starting with the world-famous SXSW Interactive festival kicking off in Austin, Texas, this week, we will be part of a two-year program on the lookout for collaboration, knowledge sharing and commercial arrangements with US companies.
You never know it might be the beginning of a powerful partnership, just like the one featured in House of Cards.