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IBC Daily: Bridging the gap with Ease Live

A year after launching its interactive TV platform Ease Live, Norway-based Sixty is making use of this year’s IBC to drive home the message that broadcasters should be engaging more with their audiences if they don’t want to lose them to other, digital offerings.

Kjetil Horneland, CEO of Sixty, believes that the next big thing for broadcasters is to separate the graphics from the TV, enabling graphics to be created locally so that they can be controlled by users. Ease Live is designed to allow broadcasters to utilise the traffic they have built and monetise it, he added. Now, Sixty is talking to every sports league and broadcaster in the world, and expects to see some major launches next year. Ease Live has already been launched by a major US sports league, although no names can be revealed as yet.

“Everyone has invested in their platform and they need to monetise it,” he said, pointing out that the traditional value chain has changed because of the challenges presented by new players that go direct to consumer. Ease Live distributes new and interactive on-air graphics to viewers across multiple platforms, providing interactive graphics both for live sports and studio productions. It also enables two-way communication with end users, linking directly back to the studio. 

“We glue the internet on top of the TV,” explained Homeland, who believes this is now creating new opportunities for broadcasters to improve the user experience, retain users and reduce churn, and improve advertising models.

The aim is to keep users on the screen, rather than losing them to a second screen with information such as player stats or other data. “I think the debate about the first and second screen is dead,” Homeland said, noting that the emphasis now is on addressing user needs and encouraging younger audiences not to abandon  TV.

He pointed to statistics that said linear TV viewing dropped by 20% among people of all age groups in Norway. “We are bridging the gap between linear and digital TV. We are connecting the dots all the way from the studio to the user.”

This article was written by the IBC Daily Team for the IBC Daily.