Driving content into our cars
The global automotive infotainment market is expected to reach $40.17 billion by 2024 as a result of rising consumer demand for in-vehicle entertainment. Improved connectivity and the implementation of 5G are paving the way for futuristic in-car services, including the widespread availability of multimedia and entertainment services – leading to the development of more sophisticated infotainment systems than ever. In addition, the rise of autonomous driving is giving passengers more free time to consume entertainment than previously possible.
All these factors are creating more opportunities for the content industry to reach consumers in places where they were previously unattainable – namely, moving vehicles. Yet, content creators and distributors would make an easy mistake by assuming that they can replicate their existing offering inside the car. Instead, they should maximize this opportunity to build viewer loyalty by adjusting their content to the medium.
A whole new world?
Consuming content in the car is not a new phenomenon, as many passengers are already watching content on the road with pre-downloaded video on their personal devices (BYOD). However, the type of content and services that can be accessed via the car is evolving. Today, cars are equipped with big screens and voice assistants are making their way into this new environment. Combined with the notion that consumers are using a car to go from A to B, the content industry is facing a completely new world where everything is interconnected and highly personalized.
To maximize this opportunity, the content industry needs to collaborate with the automotive sector. Such a partnership will enable automotive manufacturers to build a relationship with consumers, but also allow the content industry to enter a whole new market and create new revenue streams.
As publishers look to enter the automotive sector and offer content options, they will need to create commercial frameworks around content monetization. Yet, they will no longer be the sole decision maker: car manufacturers want to participate in the shaping of the content catalogue and know the exact requirements of their moving screens, which means the content industry will have to work closely with carmakers to ensure their offering suits the very specific needs of this new industry. Contrarily to the experience we usually face in the living room or even on the go, any video consumed inside the vehicle needs to be adjusted to the journey. For the content industry, this means rethinking formats to suit this brand new use case, leading to new avenues for exclusive content monetization.
Capitalizing on connectivity
Content may be king, butit needs connectivity to rule over the in-car infotainment industry. Today, most cars coming to the market are equipped with some form of connectivity: in-car Wi-Fi and 4G are currently the most common options. In addition to this, the ability to plug and play other connected devices, such as smartphones and tablets, enables consumers to use their pre-existing data plans inside the car as well as on the go. This simplifies access to a number of in-car services and features, including multimedia entertainment and payment services that can be done through the cloud.
This may have proved enough to date, but the future will be even more connected: once 5G is stable enough to be rolled out to cars, this will lead to a major increase in capacity to deliver infotainment. Passengers will be able to play Temple Run without any lag, live sports will finally stop being pixelated on smaller screens, and parents will no longer have to condone with frustrated children in the backseat, impatiently waiting for the next episode of Miraculous Ladybug to load on the rear-seat entertainment screens.
The car industry is already making great progress towards full connectivity, and the content industry can leverage this trend to extend its reach beyond the home. Now is a unique chance to be associated with a truly immersive experience focusing on the viewers’ needs and interest, available in a format that suits the journey – with more exciting developments to be unveiled at NAB Show and beyond.
Under lock and key
With opportunity also comes challenges, including car hacking and potential illegal re-streaming of content on unauthorized third party website. While this challenge is very real and needs to be addressed, it shouldn’t prevent the content industry from providing content inside the car. Security solutions that are specifically designed for in-car environments are already available to ensure that video is delivered securely to all screens inside the car – both built-in and brought in (BYOD). Plus, there are already strict content protection rules and a strong framework for rights management that car manufacturers need to follow. These rules vary for each piece of content, destination device, region and delivery method. The automotive industry is already looking into solutions to ensure that vehicles are compliant with these needs, but more education needs to happen for the two industries to collaborate further.
With growing consumer demand for higher content and service quality and accessibility, the industry needs to adapt. Responding to these market changes creates new monetization potential for both the content industry and automakers amd should not be ignored. This new market, which is currently growing at a steady pace, will be huge in the foreseeable future and should not to be avoided by content creators and distributors.
ACCESS Europe will be at NAB 2019 to discuss in-vehicle infotainment and the need for solutions that support the latest security standards for content and in-car services. ACCESS will be hosting a session on April 8 at 2:00 – 2:20pm PT in the ‘In-vehicle experience’ theatre (North Hall, N3811).
About Dr Neale Foster: Dr Neale Foster is the CEO of ACCESS Europe, where he steers the company’s direction. Neale brings a wealth of broadcast, connected TV, consumer electronics industry and transport experience to his role of spearheading ACCESS Europe. ACCESS CO., LTD. provides advanced IT solutions centered around mobile and network software technologies to telecom carriers, consumer electronics manufacturers, broadcasting and publishing companies, the automotive industry and energy infrastructure providers around the world. The company develops mobile software solutions that have been installed on over 1.5 billion devices, and network software solutions that have been used by over 300 telecommunication equipment manufacturers. Utilizing its network virtualization technology skills and knowledge, the company is currently focusing on the development and commercialization of
Internet of Things (IoT) and media solutions that combine embedded and cloud technology.