I’ve been teaching a course in Kadir Has University Istanbul/Turkey at Communications Faculty, New Media department. This semester is the 3rd time I’ve been teaching the course called as “Digital Platforms“. Every semester, there is one midterm and one final exam. If you like you can see the exams of earlier years herebelow.
This week, we had the midterm exam for this semester 2016 Fall. I’ve copied the questions and potential answers as below.
KADIR HAS UNIVERSITY
NM 423: DIGITAL PLATFORMS
FALL 2016 MIDTERM EXAM
- Pay-TV platforms:
a.) List down all the pay-TV platforms available in Turkey together with number of up-to-date subscribers? Also you should mention about the media they are using (satellite, IP etc.) (10 points)
- Digiturk (Satellite) : ~3 million subs
- Teledunya (Cable) : ~1151K subs
- D-Smart (Satellite) : ~925K subs
- Tivibu (IP+Satellite) : 545K subs
- Turkcell TV+ (IP): 303K subs
- Filbox (Satellite) : 35K subs
b) Considering the new Football League Broadcasting rights tender that will take next week which one is more likely to win and why? Please explain with solid arguments. (10 points)
As I’m currently a Turkcell employee, I’d prefer not to comment on this hot topic in order to avoid any misinterpretation 🙂
- OTT-1 : If I were somebody totally unfamiliar with the term OTT (Over-the-top) TV, how would you explain to me what it is and how it has changed the TV industry as a whole? (20 points)
OTT TV could be defined as the delivery of video content over the open internet without the involvement of any telco in the control. OTT TV has changed the TV industry in significant ways.
It allowed content providers/aggregators to deliver their content/services directly to end users. As opposed to the legacy cable or satellite businesses where the Pay-TV operators needs to make a significant amount of investment, OTT TV providers don’t need to have their own infrastructure. They don’t need to worry about scalibility. They are simply benefiting from the existing pipes of legacy telcos which enabled them to achieve very fast Time to Market periods. As a result, end users had a variety of alternatives on top of old DTH services which lead the new concept of ‘cord-cutters’. Incumbent DTH and cable operators first saw OTT TV providers as a threat. They then started increasing to lose customers. On the last few years they started to see them as potential partners to enrich their content offering.
- OTT-2: Globally who is the greatest digital video platform? What makes it the greatest one? What are the competitive advantages compared to the other alternatives? Please explain with solid arguments. (20 points)
Obviously YouTube is the greatest digital video platform in the world. Every minute 60 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube. Even this simple data tells us about the variety and richness of YouTube’s content portfolio. YouTube who is a Google company comes as an native application on Android phones. Hence, it has a dramatic competitive advantage in terms of engagement compared to the other alternatives such as Vimeo, Dailymotion etc. Also YouTube is accessible from a lot of consumer electronic devices which serves as another booster to customer interest. YouTube has lots video channels that users could subscribe to and in return generate revenue for the content owners based on the number of views. This allowed content providers to create their own ecosystem that is constantly growing. YouTube which its ever evolving User interface provides a nice, simple and convenient user experience which is consistent through all different devices. Today YouTube allows content providers to upload 4K, 360 VR and even HDR contents and simply the most advanced digital platform.
- Netflix: There are lots of OTT services available in Turkey i.e. Tivibu, DigiturkPlay, BluTV etc. Among these Netflix has a unique position? What makes Netflix so special? What are the competitive advantages compared to the other alternatives? Please explain with solid arguments. (20 points)
There are a certain number of reason why Netflix is special. First of all, it’s the only global SVOD service . Thanks to having tens of millions of active users Netflix could collect user data from all over the world and benefit those for constantly improving the user experience it’s delivering. It’s far beyond the competition in terms of recommendation engine and personalization. Additionally, it’s hosting Netflix Originals content. In other words, it’s beyond a content aggregator, it’s producing content. (House of Cards, Narcos etc.) Netflix has a superior technology that is allowing to deliver enhanced video quality coupled with its own CDN infrastructure. Netflix is available on a lots of consumer devices which increases the engagement of its subscribers significantly. It’s one of the global lovemarks whose bandwidth usage in USA is more than 37% at peak times. It’s content library in Turkey is hosting more than thousands of TV shows and movies. Having said all those advantages, it’s a known disadvantage. It doesn’t offer neither Live TV nor premium sports content unlike Digiturk etc.
- Smart TV: There are a number of popular Smart TV brands on the market i.e. Samsung, Sony, LG, Arcelik, Vestel etc. Some of the Pay-TV operators (Digiturk , Tivibu etc.) are also offering Smart TV applications as an alternative to STB solution. Nevertheless, what we are witnessing is there is no real success story on the market. What are the main reasons for this? Why Smart TV app of Pay-TV operators did not attract huge interest, why they are still deploying STBs? Please explain with solid arguments. (20 points)
The main reason is the lack of internet connectivity of the Smart TVs. Typical Turkish audiences is seeing TV sets as big monitors rather than expecting the similar level of smartness like mobile phones. If Smart TV is not connected or the internet connection is not reliable it’s not feasible to deliver a service-grade TV service to paying customers. Secondly, there is a huge amount of fragmentation on Smart TV space. There are lots of different TV brands most of them having their own technology stack and dependencies. Also the average life cycle of Smart TVs are around 7 years which makes it quite inefficient to maintain old legacy TV platforms. In general, Pay-TV operators are willing to design and deploy their own unique user experience (with well defined, tested UI and remote control). However, Smart TV apps mostly depend on the performance and limitation of TV sets which is very complex to keep under control. The overall experience is defined mostly by the Smart TV manufacturer. Lastly. if any customer happens to experience a major issue regarding the service quality or for various marketing reasons, operators would like to manage the customer device (ideally remotely). This is relatively easier to handle with STBs instead of TVs designed and produced a 3rd party.