TV is undergoing a revolution – Finnish television companies have a major competitive advantage that they should harness
On average, Finns spend three hours a day watching television. This number of hours has remained the same year after year – TV is not about to disappear from the living rooms of Finns. Teppo Ahonen heads up Digita’s TV and video business. He sees great potential in the revolution in TV services from the perspective of both consumers and media houses.
The antenna network provides competitive advantages to television companies and benefits to consumers. It has many advantages – one of the most important is the coverage of the network. The nationwide network enables reliable communication of information via TV to all Finns, both to permanent residences and to the around 600,000 summer homes around Finland. Furthermore, consumers do not incur monthly fees from the antenna network.
“The antenna network is available throughout Finland. The most popular TV channels cover 99.96 per cent of the Finnish population. In other words, antenna network broadcasts reach practically all Finns,” says Ahonen.
Finnish television companies are competing fiercely for viewers against international streaming services, for instance. However, Ahonen emphasises that Finnish television companies have a strong competitive edge that’s easily forgotten about.
“Finnish television companies have a unique competitive advantage. Linear TV content and three hours of viewing time per day are advantages that companies should tap into more strongly. Streaming services, for example, don’t have these advantages. That said, we can’t deny that traditional TV broadcasts should evolve and keep up with the times. Development is essential if we want Finns to keep watching linear and domestic TV content both now and in the future. Consumer demands are growing and there’s more content available than ever before,” says Ahonen.
Three competitive factors of Terrestrial TV: free channels, pay-TV and HybridTV.
The Terrestrial TV brand that Digita launched this year includes Digita’s TV services offering – in addition to free channels, also pay-TV and HybridTV which enables interactive services.
In summer, Digita opened the antennitv.fi service for pay-TV customers, through which they can easily manage their own subscriptions. Digita wants its customers to have access to guaranteed top-quality TV entertainment with the press of a button.
“Our aim is to give TV viewers a simple and easy way to enjoy pay-TV content as well. In addition to our existing content, we are constantly expanding our offering not only in linear TV but also in the HybridTV arena,” says Ahonen.
HybridTV – the rebirth of television
HybridTV enables television companies to combine traditional linear TV content with features such as streaming and other interactive content. This revolutionises the TV experience for consumers – and content is even more easily available. For TV companies, this ability to combine linear and time-independent content services into a complete service means even more comprehensive content and software design.
HybridTV also offers new opportunities for TV advertising – advertisers can launch targeted TV ads, for instance. This also makes TV viewing more pleasant for consumers – instead of the same advertisements being shown to all viewers, advertisements will be more personalised, with greater customisation of advertising content.
Over the years, TV has undergone many changes, of which the greatest may have been the transition from B&W to colour broadcasts in Finland in 1970 and the 1980s. Another more recent example is the upgrade to HD-quality TV broadcasts. Ahonen says that these developments have been consumer-friendly and natural, but have not yielded business benefits to television companies.
“The transition from B&W to colour and HD was part of the evolution of TV, but this didn’t necessarily bring new customers to television companies,” says Ahonen.
HybridTV is also part of the evolution of TV, but its greatest difference to these previous examples is that it offers entirely new opportunities for consumers and unprecedented business benefits for service providers.
“HybridTV yields direct business benefits. In addition to targeted advertising, TV providers can direct viewers from TV broadcasts to streaming services, for instance. In that sense, HybridTV is appealing not only to consumers, but also to television companies.
Both TV and consumer preferences have changed and developed over the years. Earlier, people went shopping for a TV when they wanted a bigger screen or better image quality – now, consumer decisions are guided by the diverse and interactive services available on TV,” says Ahonen.