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