waipu.tv is Germany’s market leader for IPTV. The waipu.tv app combines the entertainment power of not only classic linear Free and Pay TV channels but Video on Demand channels as well. In partnership with smaller content creators, waipu.tv additionally offers exclusive content and users can enjoy more than 130 channels.
The developer team at waipu.tv recently added important new functionalities to their Fire TV app, like the Video Skills Kit (VSK) which allows for voice controls, and Live TV. We sat down with them to discuss their app and these new features.
Why did you initially decide to bring apps to Amazon Fire TV?
In 2016 we launched waipu.tv as a smartphone only app. As they always say: Think big, but start small. We envisioned waipu.tv as a TV app that you can use wherever you are, the only thing you need is WIFI. With only a swipe the user was able – and still is – to cast from a smartphone to the big screen. In order to make this possible on Amazon Fire TV, we developed an app with the main purpose to act as a mirror screening tool from a smartphone to a screen. But we observed that the app was mainly navigated via the Amazon Fire TV remote control and not via smartphone. The decision was then made to further develop the app into a fully-fledged version of waipu.tv for our customers.
How important is to your product strategy to have published an app on Amazon Fire TV?
Amazon Fire TV is a customer-focused brand with a large user reach. It is easy to access for customers, especially for those who have no smart TV, which enables us to reach a tremendous base of potential customers.
On Fire TV, we were able to test a number of product innovations. One example is T-Commerce where customers can directly shop on Amazon from TV ads, and we of course improved the experience via voice control for live TV.
What are some of the key successes you have observed since launching apps on Fire TV?
What makes your apps unique in driving value for Amazon Fire TV customers?
With our app, we enable our users to release themselves from the complications that cable and satellite TV bring. Watching TV is now possible in every room without the need of a big setup, no set-top-boxes, only WIFI. You can start your favorite show in the living room and finish it in the bedroom. Your partner wants to watch something different? No problem, you can stream up to 4 streams in parallel. Additionally, we offer the best of both worlds: Live TV and Video on Demand. With our on-demand content we are able to react on current circumstances. For example, we added more kids and workout content during the lockdown phase.
What is unique about Amazon Fire TV customers that you don’t see on other streaming services?
We observed that Amazon Fire TV customers are more loyal than on other platforms and they are very satisfied. From our customer surveys, this has been shown by extremely positive Net Promoter Scores.
Why did you decide to integrate Voice features in your apps?
At waipu.tv we always try to respond to new customer needs before they actually demand them. Be it new functionalities, platforms or technologies like voice interaction. Our customers are naturally enthusiastic about those new technologies and when the opportunity came to be one of the first apps on Amazon Fire TV to develop and launch voice features in Germany we of course took it.
Using Amazon Fire TV’s voice features like Video Skills Kit (VSK) and the Voice Controls via Media Session integration, our users are now able to control the media playback and switch to any channel they want without using the remote control.
How do you think voice will change customers' behavior towards your apps?
Since the launch of our VSK (Video Skills Kit) implementation the user feedback has been great. Even without us proactively promoting the feature, voice controls are highly used in our app. The potential is that voice control can become the next main way to interact with devices within our home.
In regard to our app this raises the question of the necessity of visual interactions. If controlling waipu.tv via voice becomes so natural that our users don’t reach for the remote control anymore then maybe we don’t need a search feature that is integrated in the UI of the app. This would also lead to the need of new concepts of information presentation and transfer. To perform simple tasks like programming a specific recording or asking “what will be on ARTE this evening” the app maybe won’t even need to start anymore and could just prompt the answer. This could lead to a more frequent interaction with our app, as our users could achieve their goals even faster and easier.
Which other Amazon Fire TV engagement drivers / features have you implemented, or are you currently working on? And why?
One of the essential features for us is Login with Amazon. Our users are able to create an account and subscribe to our service with just a few clicks and – what’s most important – without the need to type in any information with the remote control. We all know how painful this can be.
Additionally, as a TV provider the Live TV Integration that launched last year was an obvious choice as features come. Once a user opens our app the first time, we synchronize our TV channels with the EPG provided by the Fire TV UI. The main advantage is that the last watched TV channels are now available in the Recent rowwhich gives us additional visibility in the first viewpoint of the Fire TV Home.
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