There’s a new player in town! (And they’re offering free parking)

Watch out MSOs and cable operators – there’s a new player in town…

While Amdocs Voices has blogged before about the threat multiple service operators and cable companies have been facing from over-the-top-players like Google TV and Apple TV, here’s something new…

It seems like there’s a new player in town, and surprisingly enough, it’s IKEA.

I’ll explain. When we bought our new 52” flat screen TV,  we couldn’t find a furniture unit to accommodate such a large screen, as well as all the different electronics (and cables) that make up our  particular home entertainment system. In the end, a carpenter had to design and built a piece of furniture tailored to meet our specific needs.  

It was a hassle and it was expensive, which is one of the reasons why this week’s launch of what cnet are referring to as the potentially “game changing IKEA UPPLEVA unit is so interesting: IKEA has joined forces with Chinese consumer electronics firm TCL to launch a line of furniture with integrated connected television and sound systems.

In an interview with Reuters, IKEA’s Magnus Bondesson explains why UPPLEVA is a completely unique market offering:

 ”We are launching a new concept where you in one place can buy your furniture and your electronics — designed for and matched with each other from the start”

UPPLEVA is a package that’s made up of a full HD TV, 2.1 sound system, DVD/Blueray/CD player, a wireless sub-woofer speaker, WiFi, and Smart TV (which uses the Internet) – all integrated into one furniture unit which hides the cables.

And  it’s getting noticed. IKEA’s charming promotional video for UPPLEVA has already gone completely viral on YouTube, already racking up over half a million hits in just two days: 

In the battle over who’s going to provide your entertainment, packaging is definitely becoming the weapon of choice. Take Boxee – they’ve already packaging Internet TV, local content and live TV into one (the Boxee Box). And screen manufacturers have been also busy embedding media centers and Internet access into their displays.

IKEA have applied this to their domain. They understand what bugs the average customer: Cable clutter. Too many remotes. The complexities involved in trying to hook and set up your entertainment system. And how it all actually looks once you’re finished (they’re offering the choice of three different designs). With UPPLEVA, they’ve seemingly managed to simplify the experience.

So why do I think IKEA could end up being an OTT threat? Well,  I wonder how soon it will be before the first content provider starts to sell simple packages at IKEA cash registers…

BLOGGER: SHAI SHAMIR

3 Comments

  1. Posted April 18, 2012 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    Shai,

    The IKEA FurniTV is a great thing. It shows a concept that no one else had thought of before – or at least not in this scale.
    It merges not between electronic devices, cramming more functionality into one, but merges two distinct and different domains: furniture and consumer electronics.

    In the case of IKEA, it diminishes the consumer electronics vendors from known brands into “mere” manufacturers and places the furniture company in the front.

    Cable and satellite companies would be wise to work with IKEA in their local regions and not let OTT players get their meal on this one as you suggest.

    Tsahi

  2. Grigory Burov
    Posted April 18, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    Hopefully they’d need CRM, self-care and billing systems too.
    Are our sales folks on the way to IKEA yet?

  3. Posted April 19, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    hehe i like what Grigory has said :-) I wish if we could have like button just as Facebook ;-)

    Loved this innovative product of iKea. But I hope they will give freedom to the customer to choose the brand of TV they want. If that’s not the case then I find it difficult from a customer perspective to buy the product just because it fits perfectly in my Living room!

Join the Conversation

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>