2006: The Year the Program Guide Begins to Get Personal

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New Report from The Diffusion Group argues that multi-platform, multi-network guides will begin to replace single-user IPGs.

2006 will see the emergence of a new class of video guide – the Personal Entertainment Guide or PEG.

According to Program Guides at the Crossroads: The IPG Gets Personal, TDG’s latest report on the evolving digital media market, the PEG will capitalize on many of the techniques pioneered on the web in the areas of search, behavior prediction, and distributed computing. The PEG will thus be more attuned to the viewer’s preferences and capable of spanning a multitude of consumer devices, both stationary and portable. As a result, global licensing revenue from standard guides will decline to $356 million in 2010, while PEG licensing revenue will grow to $1.4 billion in the same time period.

According to TDG’s new report, four factors are coalescing to forever will alter the way consumers view video:

  • The shift from watching television on the broadcaster’s schedule to watching television on the viewer’s schedule (time-shifting);
  • The emergence of mobile media as an important part of the consumers’ entertainment experience (place-shifting);
  • The explosion of digital media services competing for the consumers’ attention; and
  • The emergence of broadband as a medium capable of delivering high-quality entertainment directly to the consumer.

“At the center of these tectonic shifts stands the electronic program guide,” said Colin Dixon, senior analyst with The Diffusion Group. “As the variety of content expands, and as the avenues through which consumers can enjoy this content multiply, the importance of an integrated, interactive, and personalized guide becomes key to user experience. Without it, navigating this complex array of content and services will prove burdensome to consumers, and those companies that can provide an easy-to-use and integrated guide will have a distinct and persuasive advantage over competitors.”

According to Dixon, video content owners will look to leverage traditional, broadband, and cellular networks to push their content to consumers. Those that can provide a highly-personalized and consistent user interface will no doubt have a “leg up” on their competitors. As Dixon stated, “Given how competitive the TV environment is becoming, the importance of a superior program guide cannot be underestimated. A poor or inflexible interface leads directly to unhappy viewers, falling average revenue per unit (ARPU), and increased churn.”

TDG’s latest report on trends in digital video, Program Guides at the Crossroads: The IPG Gets Personal, offers an examination of the various technological and economic trends underlying the move to PEGs (e.g. search, end-user behavior, multi-platform distribution); the impact of PEGs on video advertising; the importance of metadata in the PEG environment; profiles of leading EPG and emerging PEG players; global forecasts for broadband-enabled versus traditional set-top box deployments; and global forecasts for PEG licenses.

About The Diffusion Group (TDG) -

The Diffusion Group is a strategic research and consulting firm focused on the new media and digital home markets. Using a unique blend of consumer insights, executive-level consultants, and hands-on technical experts, we produce more than just research - we create Intelligence in Action™. TDG is committed to providing market research and strategic consulting services based on conservative, real-world analysis and forecasts grounded in consumer research.

For more information about The Diffusion Group, visit our website at http://www.thediffusiongroup.com.


Andy Tarczon



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Andy Tarczon
The Diffusion Group
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