Intel, the American corporation best known for their involvement in producing computer chips (and similar items for smart TV sets), revealed their latest plan to enter the online streaming market will also be compatible with mobile devices.
Intel Media vice-president/general manager, Erik Huggers, confirmed that the company they also plan to launch their internet TV service across a range of mobile operating systems. The service will initially be launched on a smaller number of devices though, and it is unknown how long before it runs on every device planned.
While it is a new territory for the technology giants (one that has a lucrative market value), Intel will be joining the list of high-profile companies such as Amazon, Apple, and Google in moving into the streaming industry, looking to put up a challenge to the likes of Netflix, Hulu, and the traditional cable TV industry (currently valued at an estimated $100b).
Huggers while speaking at the AllThingsDigital ‘Dive into Media’ conference claimed that despite being newcomers to the industry, they will do their upmost to succeed and already have a platform to begin from, announcing that he is already in negotiations with content providers for carriage deals.
The plan is to explore the avenues of ‘live and on-demand content’ as an alternative to their main line of operation, and is said to include a new set-top box (being trialled by the households of ‘hundreds of Intel employees’), as part of a ‘compelling’ new service.
The proposals offered by the company are said to be bigger and more intriguing than anything currently on offer on the market, with Intel banking on a live/on-demand streaming mix to push forward. Huggers summarised the key talking points: “We have been working for (the past) year to set up Intel media, a new group focused on developing an Internet platform. It’s not a value play, it’s a quality play where we’ll create a superior experience for the end user. There is an opportunity to offer a bundle that can be curated by the consumer, an opportunity to create smarter bundles.
“There’s a scenario where the TV recognizes that it’s you and says ‘Hey, I know what you like. I know what you want to watch’, versus the environment we’re in today where the TV literally is not interested in you at all. The model we envision is a model where live television and catch-up television live in the same paradigm. We’re actively testing it in the field with employees. It’s not the final product, but it’s certainly functional.”
However, rivals are not as supportive in their belief that Intel can deliver from the ground up in streaming, as Bernard Gershon (GershonMedia’s ‘head of digital consultancy’) claimed that it will take more than a little ‘negotiating’ to get content providers on-board, noting: “The chance that Intel launches is zero. They haven’t cut any deals with any content companies, and they are not offering something that differentiates itself enough on service or price to get the deals done.”
Sanford Bernstein analyst Stacy Rasgon echoed the sentiment, summarising: “The question you have to ask with Intel is, Is anything they do big enough to move the needle? You’re not going to make or break the company on something like this.”
Despite the sceptics, the leader of the project is clearly coming from experience, with Huggers having worked with Microsoft and served a stint with the BBC, during which he helped to launch the BBC iPlayer service, thought to be amongst the most highly-regarded of online catch-up platforms. Despite prior successes in the industry, will anything Intel produce manage to have as much of an impact?