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SME 2016: Google Shows 5 Trends Revolutionizing the Industry

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The past three years have brought huge changes to the TV and online video industries, noted Serge Kassardjian, delivering the opening day keynote address for Streaming Media East 2016 in New York City. Kassardjian is the global head of Android/Play media apps and Android TV content partnerships at Google.

 

He shared with attendees the five trends now revolutionizing the industry.

1. Cord Cutting: 20 percent of young adults in the U.S. don't have a pay TV subscription.

2. Subscription Services Emerge: Young adults prefer streaming their content, with YouTube and Netflix the most popular options. However, niche players like Crunchyroll and Drama Fever are coming on strong.

3. Devices Are Penetrating New Form Factors and Launching Internationally: Apps are expanding to the living room, as content owners want to be on all devices.

4. Divergent Engagement Strategies: Brands need to entice viewers on multiple platforms.

5. Content Owners Are Concerned With the Loss of Brand Attribution: "The mindset has completely changed" in how viewers think about their content. While they used to identify favorite shows by network, they now think about streaming services. This alarms content owners, such as ABC which recently negotiated with Netflix to get branding placed on How to Get Away With Murder.

Kassardjian also shared with Streaming Media East attendees how his team works with content owners to help them succeed on the platform. It's a multi-step process, but gaining an audience on Android is too important to leave to chance.

1. Design: The Android UI is called Material Design, and it involves elements such as tangible surfaces, meaningful motion, and an adaptive design that works with multiple platforms. Simply porting an iOS app to Android looks terrible, Kassardjian stressed.

2. Develop: Create a multi-screen strategy. Google tools let developers add video casting to their mobile apps, and the ability to receive casts on Android TVs.

3. Grow: Content companies should leverage all their channels to bring attention to apps or major app upgrades. Tent pole events, such as award shows, are useful for driving activity on apps.

4. Engage: While often overlooked, Kassardjian said it's important to drive usage around content, not the brand. It's the content that matters, so drive awareness of what viewers can watch. Notifications are an important tool, but brands need to be careful not to overuse them or people will get annoyed and uninstall the app.

5. Launch: Google recommends a four-stage rollout that includes small group alpha testing, beta testing with more users, a staged rollout to determine if there are any issues, and finally a full launch.

6. Earn: Payment needs to be frictionless. Google recommends developers create a "front porch" that offers some content for free. This makes it more likely that people will download the app and get to know it. SeeSo, for example, lets people sign in as a guest and view some programs. It's also a good idea, Kassardjian said, to offer multiple payment plans with varying value propositions.

7. Global: When expanding to other markets, localize content for that area. That means offering local trailers, featuring content popular in that area, and showing pricing in the local currency.

The Android platform plays on 80 percent of all smartphones globally, Kassardjian said, with 1.5 million new product activations everyday. Learning to succeed on the platform is critical to the success of any video creator.

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