Wednesday, July 23, 2008

At the Stanford Summit - on usability of IPTV

I'm at the Stanford Summit this week, and last night was a great opening panel of media executives. While most of the Summit is panels of startups, it was great to hear from the established broadcast and media companies like ABC and Paramount about the future.

One remark really stood out, and the panel agreed - part of the success of VOD and IPTV hinges on usability. Tivo, for example, has great usability, and it's the only "independent" PVR that survived and thrived. On the other hand, the usability of most set-top boxes from mainstream cable companies is rotten. I can relate - the box I received from Time Warner is virtually unusable. Searching for a show is a pain-staking experience.

The panel was clear an unambiguous. What they are seeing is usability drives adoption. When you give consumers an easy way to find and consume video content, they adopt.

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