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Parks: Top 10 connected entertainment disruptors

Parks Associates has hosted the final day of the company’s 20th annual CONNECTIONS conference in San Francisco with panel discussions moderated by the firm’s analysts and featuring executives from companies throughout the IoT space, including Vivint Smart Home, Rovi, AT&T Digital Life, Schneider Electric, Comcast, and Hewlett-Packard. In the opening session “A Look at IoT 2.0,” Tom Kerber, Director, Research, Home Controls & Energy, Parks Associates, discussed business models for the smart home.

“There are several alternative business models emerging for the smart home, including a two-sided business model, from companies such as EnergyHub and WattzOn, and open platforms, where Samsung, through SmartThings, has moved aggressively into this space,” Kerber said. “We had a near-universal agreement among CONNECTIONS speakers and attendees that partnerships are critical to success in IoT. By 2020, more than 24 million US broadband households will have a smart home controller, making 2016 the ideal time for businesses to build the partnerships they need to achieve the vision of an IoT-enabled smart home.”

In his keynote “The Transition from Connected Home to Smart Home,” Matt Eyring, Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer, Vivint Smart Home, presented the eight barriers to mass-market adoption of the smart home:

·         Lack of clear and compelling consumer use cases

·         Difficulty educating consumer through typical sales channels

·         Burden on consumer to understand interoperability

·         High up-front pricing

·         Difficulty of installation

·         Poor product and system reliability

·         Lack of post-install service

·         Security and privacy concerns

Parks Associates’ entertainment and connected CE analysts Brett Sappington and Barbara Kraus presented their top 10 list of disruptors in connected entertainment:

1.       Virtual reality

2.       Live streaming

3.       Voice control

4.       Pay TV as the new OTT

5.       Devices as smart home controllers

6.       Integrated discovery

7.       Device makers and streaming services

8.       4K + HDR

9.       Privacy and security of data

10.   Redefining video game entertainment

“Virtual reality has the potential to have significant impact on many market sectors, particularly those that benefit from immersion and engagement,” Sappington said. “Despite the recent industry excitement around VR, overall consumer awareness of this technology is low. Yet, retailers are selling out pre-orders of some VR headset models, suggesting that adoption could jump in the near term. Five percent of US broadband households say that they plan to buy a VR headset by the end of 2016. TV and movie producers, brands, and consumers are starting to create interesting virtual reality and 360-degree content, which will further drive interest, investment, awareness, and adoption.”

Michael Hawkey, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Discovery Business Group for Rovi, concluded CONNECTIONS with the keynote “Powering ‘What’s On’ In A New World.” He said, “With so many different entertainment content options available to consumers today, service providers need discovery services that will power an even more personalized user experience. By streamlining discovery, users can easily navigate the growing number of content options while providers benefit from increased consumption.”

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