Technology Titans Visualize Television’s Future

Last week in New York City, technology professionals gathered for the eighth annual Internet Week, a highly attended conference where industry experts discuss business, the impact of the online space and other subject matter. Panels are held, interviews are conducted and summits occur.

At a keynote talk covering the future of television, Netflix Chief Product Officer Neil Hunt addressed several areas where he believes the industry will change over the coming years.

Of the many topics, Hunt focused on specialized recommendation engines, and he stated that they will assist with the on-screen entry portal to program navigation, allowing each user to have their own customized viewing screen and easily locatable suggestions.

“Our vision is, you won’t see a grid and you won’t see a sea of titles,” said Hunt.

The technology will help viewers find new videos that they may have overlooked.
He also believes that it could be utilized to transform the current advertising model and microtarget different users.

“We have to imagine that the Geicos and the Wendys and the Chevys will have to find a different place to advertise their wares in 2025,” Hunt proclaimed. “Maybe you only see that Chevy ad if you’re ready to buy the car today.”

Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia also participated at Internet Week, joining USA Today columnist Michael Wolff on stage for an at-times contentious debate. Provided Aereo is successful in their U.S. Supreme Court case, he thinks most TV will go directly to the Internet, with a la carte becoming widely available for the masses.

“[The service] will be a more rationally packaged product,” said Kanojia.

Also last week, Ericsson released their first “Game Changer” series report, an examination of consumers and trends, and how the television industry will evolve as a result.

Many of the findings align with the thoughts of the Internet Week speakers:

-By 2020, we will see demand for a much smaller selection of relevant and popular channels, and far greater access to a library of time-shifted and on-demand content.

-The business models of advertising, subscription and selling expanding beyond the household to the individual.

-The shifts in consumption models towards on-demand and multi/mobile devices will drive the rapid adoption of IP as the dominant delivery technology for video.

According to Per Borgklint, Ericsson SVP and Head of Business Unit Support Solutions, “Content owners and broadcasters must change programming formats, distribution rights and advertising models. TV service providers must become ultimate aggregators and enable their viewers to pick and mix content, discover content in a targeted way and find everything on anything.”

At the Buzzfeed NewFronts video event towards the end of April, production executive Ze Frank feels that the audience will soon be much more involved in the overall process, describing viewers as “co-creators,” working in collaboration with Hollywood.

Based on all of this, it appears there’s a consensus on a lot of different facets of the industry, with the main point of agreement being that the opinion of viewers will be valued much more highly.

Author: Brian Cameron

Image source: 2Jenn (Shutterstock)
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1 comment:

  1. Frank Aycock8/04/2014 11:47 AM

    Interesting piece, but I find it even more interesting that, here in 2014, people are still just now developing viewpoints on the future of television that were written about in the 2012 book "21st Century Television: The Players, The Viewers, The Money." They are behind the times - or else my book is still cutting-edge.