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Has More OTT Choice Improved the TV Experience?

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Learn more about the OTT user experience at Streaming Media West 2021.

Read the complete transcript of this clip:

Jon Giegengack: Do you think that people like the TV experience better today than they liked it two or three or four years ago, in terms of all these choices that they have in terms of the range of content that's available? How do you think they feel about it?

Jacob Saperstein: I don't want to ever put words in people's mouths, let alone millions of them. But I will say, from consumer research, and from talking to folks about how people are engaging in the space, I think people love having more choice. I do think that, just implicit in what you said, and one of the things I think about all the time, in this space, is the word "TV." What does that even mean at this point? Without a doubt, entertainment options have just exploded, in terms of what you can do on your couch. And so I think people love that optionality, and from a consumer perspective, you see a lot of people trying new services. You see it a lot in people dipping into new things. And so you can tell that people really do enjoy that choice. Choice means being able to see things that you couldn't see otherwise, but it also means types of things--genres, types of short form, companion podcasts, the number of different ways that we can engage. Now as a consumer, I'll just speak for myself--stories are just increasing, and that just allows people to have a deeper level of fandom and engagement with some of these amazing tales and stories and emotional experiences.

Jon Giegengack: Over to you, Maria.

Maria Rua Aguete: Yes, as Jacob just said, consumers love choice. But I think we are reaching a point where people are starting getting overwhelmed with so much choice because there are so many OTT services, they're starting getting overwhelmed, not only in terms of payments, but in terms of managing so many services or even getting confused, when the series they want to watch has moved from this service to this other service because obviously everyone wants to keep exclusive content. So I think consumers are getting a bit confused. How many services do I need to subscribe now to watch these three or four series that I used to watch in the past? So yes, consumers love choice, I agree, but I think they're getting a bit overwhelmed at the moment with so much choice as well.

Nicole Fencel: I'll just add to that, I think everyone loves to choose. I, myself, have multiple subscriptions and move in and out of those with some fluidity. But I think that, as you know, with the platform we are uniquely positioned to help users discover the content that they want, and to help our providers like HBO Max connect to the right consumer who is looking for their content. We have that direct relationship with our consumers. And so, one thing that we really pride ourselves on is that ease of use and frictionless experience. So it's our job as a platform to think about how to allow the users to make the choice that they want, and present the right content to the right user at the right time.

Jon Giegengack: Nicole, I think that's kind of a key point, how to make the experience frictionless for people. How to take all of this massive amount of choice that they have, but still present it to them in a way that it can be manipulated. In Roku's experience, what are the things that tend to cause friction and what are the most important things to do for consumers to make that easier?

Nicole Fencel: At Roku, we think about discovery of content and access to content across the entire lifecycle of a customer journey with our product. That starts all the way at the beginning with device activation. As soon as you start your Roku device, you're presented with a number of options based upon content selection that you like. We present whether to install that channel or to start a free trial. And so as soon as you turn on your Roku TV or your Roku stick or box, that content is right there, available on your home screen. But then that journey continues. The home screen of Roku is something that you go to every single day. And so we think about how to present the content to you in the various parts of our home-screen experience, whether that be our display units or otherwise, making search super-easy cross-platform. Those are things that we think about day in and day out. And then as you're watching content, the video side of this, the ad inventory that we have, we also think about how to connect you with the right content through that. So I think it's really about utilizing all aspects of our platform from the very first time that you turn on your Roku and then as you continue to stream, hopefully every single day, making sure that you get to the right content that you're looking for.

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