Let’s try and imagine a typical family watching TV in their living room. Really, can you? If you can do that, you either have a family life that is stuck in the 1950’s or everybody just happens to like the same program, which is fairly unusual. With the wide variety of programming and different devices capable of broadcasting content, everybody has a personal agenda when it comes to entertainment. The only way an MSO will be able to understand who is consuming specific content at a certain time of day is through digital identity and a sign-on process.
While OTT providers such as YouTube and Facebook require a log-in/password to identify their users, the MSO currently does not know (or care) who the person is that is actually consuming the service at any particular time, because the only information they have is that person’s street address and possibly a phone number. The Digital Service Providers (DSP) of the future must adopt the digital identity asset in order to improve the user experience in the following areas:
- Providing user centric personalization
- Providing the user with a means to self-manage their entitlements.
In addition, digital identity will be a key enabler to developing a trust relationship between the DSP and consumer, as well as being instrumental in finding new ways to monetize the DSP’s services.
Currently, each member of the family can watch TV using his personal device or shared device such as a set-top box or a tablet. Since viewing habits are different among individuals, there is a great importance from a service standpoint to understand who the user is and what groups he/she belongs to. The personalization of cable content per user will allow MSOs to provide a better user experience, at least as good as their OTT competitors such as Hulu or Netflix.
The following situations demonstrate just some of the opportunities offered by access to personalized data at the user level:
- Allow the user to know their DVR history
- Give the user the ability to highlight their favorite channels so they can zap between them more easily
- Have the ability to stop watching a movie on a tablet and continue watching on their mobile phone without losing context
- Get recommendations on new TV series from the cable company
There is also a need to personalize control on a dynamic group level such as the household or a family:
- One could manage child parental controls: determining what content a child is allowed to watch and during which hours. Also, how much the child is allowed to spend from the family allowance as determined with the service provider
- The user could have the ability to share specific sporting events with their friends
With digital identity comes the personalization of cable content, allowing for targeted advertising and personal service. The huge OTT players have figured this out for themselves—now it’s time for MSOs to identify their users and cater to their specific needs.
For more information, check out our whitepaper: Digital Identity: Fly Beyond Authentication and Authorization.