Dish Experiments with Short Form Video in Pay TV Services

Dish is the first pay TV provider to take short-form video seriously, but it won’t be the last.

Dish Networks announced earlier this year that it will begin offering the Vevo app on its Dish Hopper set-top box DVRs. Vevo is an online video network that specializes in music-related short form video, and which rose to popularity on YouTube.



Dish’s Vivek Sharma: Vevo deal meets demand for online content


“As customers watch more online content, we are making the Hopper an even more versatile hub by enabling customers to find thousands of music videos available for streaming from Vevo without the need to switch inputs,” said Vivek Khemka, SVP of product management at Dish, at the time of the announcement.

The addition is part of Dish’s wider strategy to lead on the cutting edge of entertainment services, and for Dish that includes Internet delivery, short-form video and multi-screen networks.

“We’re constantly trying to enhance your TV experience with IP connected experiences, and with an eye towards what we might be doing on the second screen,” said Jason Henderson, senior product manager of iTV at Dish.

Dish is also incorporating short-form video into its Sling TV offering, the $20 per month Internet TV service that has just launched across the US. Part of Dish’s streaming agreement with Disney includes offering some Maker Studios content in the service. Maker Studios is the YouTube MCN that Disney acquired in 2014.

“Short-form is very important to us, and we know that people want to see it,” said Henderson, who was speaking on a panel at CES earlier this year. “We’re coming up with experiences that reflect that.”

Henderson said Dish is just beginning to experiment in adding short-form video to linear TV services. “We’re going to find out, do people want to watch short-form content on their set-top box? And if so, I can imagine a whole line of other short-form experiences following that,” he said. “How are we going to get that content to you in a way that isn’t frustrating? How do we integrate it into the overall UI? There are all these questions. We can’t ignore it.”

Another key component of the next generation video service is personalization. “We are working extremely hard in personalization,” Henderson said. He pointed to a feature on the Hopper that turns linear content into on-demand content for the viewer. “It’s got to be around how you want to consume the video,” he said.

During the panel, the discussion at one point turned to TV sets recognizing who is watching, which boils down to another way for a service provider to deliver personalized entertainment to viewers. Henderson said consumers are still hesitant to embrace a TV set that can recognize the viewer when he or she walks into the living room, “partly because they have yet to see the value proposition of it, partly it’s because they’re afraid of HAL 9000,” he ..


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