Erik Huggers: Intel will launch its own TV service this year


Intel Media boss Erik Huggers finally broke his silence about the company’s TV plans at All Things Digital’s Dive into Media conference in Dana Point, California Tuesday, confirming reports from GigaOM and others that the company is working on a TV service, which it plans to launch later this year.

The offering will include a consumer electronics device, which Intel will sell through retailers as well as through its own website. “It is an Intel-powered device… with beautiful industrial design,” he said.

But the device is only part of the package. It will be paired with a TV service run by Intel that is going to launch under a new brand, which has yet to be revealed. Huggers didn’t go into too many details about the actual content that is going to be available through the service. “We are working with the entire industry,” he said, adding that he’s confident to sign all major players before launch.

Intel wants to make that content available both via live television streamed over the top — something Huggers compared to a traditional cable subscription — as well as on demand and through catch-up TV. Huggers likened the catch-up component to the BBC’s iPlayer, which he helped to launch at the broadcaster, and which makes pretty much all BBC programming available online after it airs on TV. “This is not a cherry-pick… this is literally everything,” he said.

GigaOM first reported in January many of the details mentioned by Huggers Tuesday, including some key hires from companies like Jawbone and Apple. “We have gone out of our way to bring a completely new skill set into this group,” he said.

One of the potentially more controversial features of the Intel device will be a camera that is meant to identify consumers and target them with personalized ads as well as content.

Also worth noting: Intel’s TV service won’t be offering single channel subscriptions. “I do believe that there is value in bundles, actually,” Huggers said. He suggested that there was an opportunity to make bundles smarter, possibly giving consumers more flexibility. “I don’t believe that the industry is ready for pure a la carte,” he added.

Of course, bundles could also lead to consumers paying almost as much, if not just as much as they’re currently paying for cable. “It’s not about a value play,” he said.

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