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All out for the best viewing experience

All out for the best viewing experience

Raymond van der Vliet about Ziggo’s role in the changing media landscape

Game of Thrones? Off to Movies & Series (X)L from Ziggo. House of Cards? That will be Netflix. And the Star Wars films? O yes, on Disney+. Plenty to choose from, if you’re willing to search. We want to provide a convenient overview, for the best viewing experience.

Even I am lost sometimes, trying to remember where to find a certain series. Let alone a film. The solution? Offering the fragmented portfolio from the various providers in a viewing environment that is customer focused. That is what we want to realise. In this way we want to create happy viewers ánd satisfied providers.

From frustration to solution

Because of the changing media landscape, we are principally watching content in a different way. It caused us to review our role. We provide access to anything a customer wants, so it’s also our task to provide a convenient overview. That’s why we take the aggregator role upon us. It means that we collect all the fragmented pieces of content in the market and offer this as a whole. In this way we can offer customers the best viewing experience.

What this looks like in practice? We integrate all kind of apps and services within the Ziggo environment. A person watching a high quality detective series from HBO, might also be interested in a similar series by NPO Start. That’s something we want to offer too, suggesting possible relevant content to the customer. Even if it is from a different provider. That integration, by the way, goes beyond the level of the user interface. Customers also want to manage (external) services flexibly and in the future, also pay for their OTT services through us. One invoice for all your content, that is convenience. 

Easy switching
We focus on our customers because we want to offer them the best and most complete viewing experience. In order to achieve that, we carry out extensive surveys as to what they expect from us. What are their wishes? And their frustrations? More and more often, these surveys indicate that people are looking for more convenience and order. All that scattered content leads to search parties everyone can do without. The content should be put centre-stage, not the provider. Conclusion? Switching between providers, and thus between films, series and broadcasts, must become easier. As a telecom provider, we see it as our responsibility to arrange that for our customers. 

Our challenges 
It goes without saying that this is not realised overnight. At the technical level alone, it requires a lot from the systems. Not only ours, but also those of the providers we intend to integrate content from. All that needs to be linked. Apart from that, those parties also need to be receptive to cooperation. We ask them to contribute ideas, taking the customer as the starting point. Integration on our new platform can have added value for customers but also for them. Our platform is robust and more and more people are using it. We want to lead the way in a wide portfolio. For viewers as well as providers. Viewers get the content they’re looking for and content providers are able to service their customers far more personally this way. 

Setting a good example
Simple and flexible, that is the aim. An important precondition is that the content landscape does not fragment even more. On a technical level we are also making progress. The interface of the Ziggo Mediabox Next is totally prepared for the future. It is fast, user friendly ánd offers a nice overview of all the apps. It has a great search function, although not all the apps with content have been incorporated yet. If it’s up to us, that will be remedied as soon as possible.

View to the future
Our priority in 2020 is preparing ourselves. In order to take the next step towards total integration, we first need to have our own network totally in order. This year we will be finalizing the merger of the Vodafone and Ziggo systems, to enable us to take our strategy to the next level. In the meantime, though, we are already preparing as many strategic choices as possible, so we can start the integration as soon as this is technically possible. Customers will mainly experience a lot of practical improvements this year. In addition, the new interface of our Mediabox Next will become available to more people and we will continue our talks with content parties about smart partnerships.

Raymond van der Vliet is Director Content & Programming at VodafoneZiggo and has been active in the (inter)national media world for more than 25 years, for example at National Geographic, FOX (Sports) and Eredivisie Media and Marketing.