Always dangerous to ask the consumer what they want from television, Ericsson did, and the answer wasn’t 3D, writes Julian Clover.
There is one little phrase, all right one of several, that I am fed up of hearing when I do an interview, “Consumers are telling us”. This is invariably because they are doing nothing of the sort and instead the vendor is trying to justify why their products are more groundbreaking than somebody else’s.
But when you are presented with a real survey, such as Ericsson’s Consumer Insight Report, you sit up and take notice.
My first thought when presented with the chart if the willingness to pay for TV and video services was that 3D was nowhere to be seen. Niklas Rönnblom, Ericsson ConsumerLab senior advisor told me that there had been less emphasis on 3D this year, but the question was asked, and it simply didn’t register high enough with the consumer.
The chart has some other points of interest, for example the rise of on demand to the extent that viewers are, marginally, willing to pay more for it than they are for the high definition pictures that have topped the chart in previous surveys.
The survey is conducted on a global basis with comments from the US, UK, Germany, Spain, Sweden, China and Taiwan being taken together. So in Britain it is strange to see on demand leading the chart of something people are willing to pay for when we have been educated in its use by a public service broadcaster that gives its on demand content away for free.
But look to for the rise in support for the personalization of content and the internet on TV. Someone should tell the consumer they don’t really want internet on the TV even if they think they do.
But the consumer is pulling ahead of us all across a multitude of devices. Those tablets, smart phones and connected TVs are being chosen by the consumer, not the pay-TV operator, who somehow has to win back the support.
No thanks then for that subsidized set-top box that you gave them, now the task is to keep up with the consumer’s choice of hardware.