Fast pace in slow motion? by Digitalis

  • Everything is changing – and yet nothing has changed

We are capturing increasing amounts of data about audience needs, wants and behaviours – but extracting the right insight is incredibly challenging. Is the decline of linear TV heralding the death of the broadcast industry – and if so, when?

And while there has been change, the TV market is generally perceived to be healthy. David Bunker, head of Audiences at BBC feels relatively calm about the rise of on-demand viewing, stating: “People have been saying that broadcast TV is dying for a decade”, whereas Fabian Birgfeld of W12 Studios mentions that TV and video viewing is at an all-time high, describing it as ‘on the move, on-demand, on linear – but constant’.

  • The future of television is television

“Hardware is Dead”, as yet another casualty of the millennials with consumers increasingly wanting to have their content anytime, anywhere, and on any device. Recently launched report by consultancy MTM, Pay-TV Innovation report, reinforces this point – 80% of pay-tv operators now offer TV everywhere solutions, allowing consumers to take their TV subscriptions with them on the move.

In our view, while it is important to develop great content recommendations, personalization and a beautiful user interface, above all consumers want easy access to content, and not be disturbed by the tech.

  • Big 4 + Netflix – friend, foe or both?

Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Netflix, do they provide new paths to market for broadcast content, serve as the long-awaited aggregator of OTT content, or push traditional broadcasters out in favour of Facebook Live and YouTube?

While Netflix used to be seen as the bane of pay-tv, the company is increasingly welcomed into the fold as just another content provider – a big, scary content provider and an industry leader in digital change, but not that different to the Time Warners and NBC-Universals of the world. This is further reinforced by their deal with Liberty Global earlier this week, rolling out the Netflix service across all Liberty Global set-top boxes.

More concerned tones are heard when talking about Amazon’s current movements in the video space – not only investing significant sums in original content, but also making moves in the aggregation space. And as data and analytics are becoming increasingly important, Amazon have an advantage – they have been market-leading in user data and analytics in the retail space, and are now applying that insight to TV.

The nature of the threat to the TV industry from Google and Facebook is still unresolved – both in terms of viewing share and advertising revenue. Unlike the print industry, it seems that TV advertising is surviving, with new products leveraging the unique scale of TV and combining it with the granularity of digital.

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