CTV Summit: Deutsche Telekom could launch its own TV alongside STB

Deutsche Telekom plans to move to an all-streaming future, but the set-top box will remain central to its vision, according to Pedro Bandeira, VP product and new business at Deutsche Telekom. Beyond the set-top, however, Telekom is considering following the path of Sky Glass and launching its own TV.

Pedro Bandeira

Speaking at the Connected TV Summit in London, Bandeira said Telekom would focus on being an aggregator but added that it aims to create an “unbreakable service” with quality.

“We still need to have our own device,” said Bandeira. “This is the only place we can really deliver our vision.”

He said this was “the reality of the present”. Telekom’s strategy around personalization and aggregation focuses on fine tuning around data. Front ends are generally similar, he said.

The centrality of the set-top reflects Telekom’s reluctance to be “just an app on a smart TV interface”, said Bandeira. “Over time I will lose engagement with consumers.”

Bandeira said it was difficult to “take ownership” of the ‘middleman’ role without a proprietary device like a set-top.

Beyond the set-top, Bandeira acknowledged that Telekom needs “to aggregate on the TV panel directly”.

The smart TV UX is “catching up”, he said. “These guys are becoming our competitors with regard to aggregation.”

Telekom could take two possible paths and is working on both, he said.

It could broker a deal with TV providers to become “the app” on the device. When some buys the TV they are asked if they are a Telekom customers and get the app as their homepage.

“If we are not successful on this path, we might have to do TVs,” he said.”This could be the only way to remain relevant.”

Telekom should also “apply the same vision” to other devices, said Bandeira. “You could have an app that aggregates other apps, giving full service continuity…on these other touchpoints,” he said.

Bandeira said it was important for the company to become content centric rather than provider centric. To create value, Deutsche Telekom wants to be an entertainment super aggregator. “We aggregate in content discovery but also in subscribe/unsubscribe” with a single bill, he said.

Content centric aggregation essentially means universal content discovery. That means tools such as voice personalization, said Bandeira. Universal content discovery is key but is challenging, he said.

Ad insertion is an important future activity for Telekom he added. He said the company can act as a middleman, adding targeting to create additional value

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