CHAT ROOM: Consumers will love Next Gen TV

In the Chat Room this month, THE STANDARD sat down with ATSC Board member Anne Schelle, Executive Director of Pearl TV, the business group representing nine of the largest broadcasting companies with more than 220 network-affiliated TV stations. She moderated a panel at the 2017 Next Gen TV Conference on consumer research about features and benefits of ATSC 3.0.

THE STANDARD: Tell us about the new body of research that’s looking at shifting consumer viewing habits. 

This past March, Pearl commissioned an ATSC 3.0 market segmentation study with research company Frank N. Magid Associates. The purpose of the study was to gauge consumer interest in ATSC 3.0 services by demographic. The survey was fielded to a 2,000 person panel.  The study first asked the respondents about their current video consumption and attitudes about over-the-air broadcasts. No surprises here. With the Millenial and GenZ set there is strong interest in TV content, with consumers watching more video than ever.

The majority of video viewing is still occurring in the home which is important for ATSC 3.0. 

When asked about over-the-air broadcasts, consumers like the content and quality when they can get it but said they are frustrated with reception and ease of use issues. 

THE STANDARD: Anne, what are some of the key findings related specifically to the various aspects of Next Gen TV? 

When we described the ATSC 3.0 service as having a modernized User Interface that allows consumers to receive their local networks live and their favorite over-the-top content in one place with improved picture quality, audio, and interactive features, respondents expressed a strong need for the service.  In fact, they over-indexed for it — specifically the Millennials and GenZ  respondents. That was surprising. These younger viewers are the harder consumers for local broadcasters to reach, so this is good news.

ATSC 3.0 Next Gen TV is envisioned to bring a better living room experience and with consumers watching most long-form video at home, and we believe that products like an ATSC 3.0 TV gateway receiver and TV’s with integrated reception electronics will sell well.

THE STANDARD: How does this kind of research factor into decisions about Next Gen TV business models and even things like FCC authorization of ATSC 3.0 broadcasting?  

The research validates consumer interest in an advanced TV service. The advanced advertising capabilities and other opportunities to provide enhanced content and experiences to consumers also provides an early path to monetization. Broadcasters can start to offer the basic TV service application as markets transition, and won’t have to wait for a national build-out or more complex implementations that will occur over time and bring additional business model opportunities.

The consumer wins overall, and this should be good news to the FCC.