Friday, June 20, 2008

BPN 1134 Digitalisation disruptive for TV

During the MPJC, Erik Jan Geelink spoke on television. He put into perspective what was going on in the television world. Erik Jan has worked amongst other for UPC on the (failed) introduction of their media box. He looked at the television world, which finally is trying to turn the page from analogue to digital.

Television has not been known for innovation. Yet the present digitalisation is a disruptive technology for the television industry. Despite the fact that the broadcast industry was warned in 1996 for personal television and other new trends, it is only now that broadcast companies, public or commercial, start to realise that they will have to do something with internet and digital television. So far internet was an extension of the television and radio programs, but with digital television through cable, glass fibre, terrestrial digital network or IPTV there is another medium than the traditional television coming up.

In the Netherlands there are 3,4 million digital TVs in the home, which means a penetration of 44,5 percent. Cable is still the dominant carrier, while satellite usage decreases. On the other hand terrestrial digital TV, Digitenne, is a hit in the Netherlands, mainly due to the lower price than cable. The conclusion is that cable is on its way down.

On the other hand video is maturing. The quality of video is differentiating, according to the principle horses for courses. In the temple of video, the cinema, you can not show the YouTube movies made with a mobile. Yet every minute almost 10 hours of video are mounted on YouTube. The British public broadcast company BBC has developed the iPlayer; the usage of the player will cost 1 billion euro for broadband capacity. Who will pay the bill: the ISP or the user. It just indicates that video is in demand.

The television production chain is also changing due to the digitalisation. Most broadcast people still think in terms of a linear production chain of creation, aggregation and distribution. But with digital television the production chain becomes more efficient, but also become more interactive. The viewer can respond to the program, participate with the red knob and even offer content for showing. Presently digital channels are created around a theme such as history, humour and consumer matters. Basically they are Catch-up Channels. Either you want to inform yourself or relax or you have missed a program and want to catch up using a theme channel. The Dutch Uitzending Gemist of the public broadcast companies is such a catch-up channel and is very successful.

The disruptive technology of digitalisation in the television world will change the paradoxes. Years ago the content offer was scarce due to the technology. Now content is abundant due to the plethora of media, but is the attention from the user, which will be scarce.

Blog Posting Number: 1134

Tags: digital television, catch-up channel,

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