Dutch RTL mulling news updates via smart speakers

Dutch RTL Nieuws is preparing itself for the arrival of smart speakers to bring news updates, sports updates and ‘gossip updates’.

Speaking to the Dutch SVDJ website, RTL Nieuws deputy editor-in-chief Marc Schreuder said that it is particularly important for video content companies to follow developments of this kind, as screens can also be controlled by speech in the future. Since last week RTL News is looking for a freelance audio editor, who will not only produce content for smart speakers, but will also contribute ideas about new audio concepts.

The right tone of voice is one of the things being considered. Smart speakers feel a bit like a friend in the house. “That’s why I am convinced that the tone of an audio update can be a lot more personal,” said Schreuder.

RTL is currently waiting for Google and Amazon to launch their smart speakers on the Dutch market. The Amazon Echo speaker is already available, but does not respond to the Dutch language yet. Google has announced that it will launch a Dutch Google Home speaker by the end of the year at the latest, but has not yet given a launch date.

60% of Dutch viewers will consider cord-cutting

60% of Dutch viewers will consider cutting the cord if the three main public NPO channels are available OTT, according to research from Telecompaper.

57% of people will consider such as move if the RTL channels are available OTT, and slightly less if SBS offers its channels over the top.

The research is good news for NLZiet, the Dutch on-demand platform with programmes from all three major broadcasting groups (NPO, RTL and SBS). Last November, the platform said it will introduce live OTT streams of the main channels.

Dutch viewers can also access live OTT streaming on the KPN Play platform and Knippr from T-Mobile.

Other research by Telecompaper shows that two-thirds (66%) of Dutch households now have TVs with internet access. This increases the likelihood of cord=cutting.

The figure rises to 73% for homes with children, while 62% of households without kids have a connected TV. The penetration of smart TVs has risen substantially in recent years, from just 30%, the annual surveys by Telecompaper’s Consumer Panel found. Growth slowed somewhat in the past year, to 5% from 12% in 2015.

Nevertheless, not all are using their smart TV to watch internet content. In Q4 2016, 36% of households said they watched internet content on the TV, up from 30% a year earlier. Around 14% connect a laptop to the TV to watch online content, up slightly from 12% in Q4 2015.

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