Tag Archives | FutureMedia 2008

iPlayer, Google, and Investment Talk from FutureMedia 2008

More from Streaming Media Europe Conference Development Director Katherine Allen on the FutureMedia 2008 conference held in London last week:

Social networking features, such as friends’ recommendations, will play a major part in the development of the BBC’s iPlayer, according to Anthony Rose, Controller of the BBC’s Vision and Online Media Group as he kicked off day 2 of the FutureMedia conference in London. “Last year the BBC chose what you watch; this year you decide what you watch; and next year your friends will choose what you watch” commented Rose, speaking just hours after iPlayer started simulcasting all the BBC’s channels and launched iPlayer Labs. As ever, though, iPlayer controversy wasn’t far away, as Telegraph TV’s Guy Ruddle argued forcefully that the publically-funded BBC should open up the iPlayer platform to content from other providers.

Patrick Walker, Google/You Tube’s director of video partnerships revealed that YouTube’s “click-to-buy” feature, which enables quick access to digital downloads or DVD purchase and launched in the US in October, will be rolled out in the UK in the “next few months”. The recently launched Monty Python channel has been one of the first beneficiaries, according to Walker, launching its click to buy link just last week and seeing Python DVD sales reach Amazon’s top 5.

A panel discussion on the impact of the credit crunch on digital media brought delegates back to earth, although there were seeds of hope even here. The consensus was that marketing spend would continue to migrate online. “If you’ve got to choose a media sector to be in, this is the best one, unequivocably” noted Simon Nicholls, MD of Ingenious Corporate Finance.

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FutureMedia 2008: Broadcast Facing a Perfect Storm

FutureMedia 2008 is going on in London this week (last day is Friday), and they’ve got a terrific roster of speakers from the broadcast industry who are addressing the challenges and opportunities presented by online video distribution. Streaming Media Europe Conference Development Director Katherine Allen is attending the conference, and she shares these reflections:

Broadcast entertainment is facing a “perfect storm” created by the convergence of the global economic crisis and a dramatic change in audience behaviour as consumers move online, according to  Jon Gisby, Channel 4’s Director of New Media and Technology, speaking today at the FutureMedia conference in London. In Gisby’s view, to keep pace with this change, the broadcast commissioning model must evolve to embrace true multi-platform ‘360 degree’ content. Channel 4 are putting their money where their mouth is with their digital fund 4iP, which aims to develop a new generation of talent through multi-platform projects – rather than from the starting point of TV content. Gisby declined to comment in detail on Project Kangaroo while the Competition Commission enquiry is ongoing, but did state there would be no connection between Kangaroo and the recently announced Channel 4 cutbacks.

Matt Locke, Channel 4’s Commissioning Editor expanded on the theme of multi-platform programming in an all-digital, all-the-time world. “I get very annoyed when people talk about platforms”, he commented. “I’m  commissioning editor for attention.” According to Red Bee’s Jonathan Wilson, “we have to move away from the TV versus online debate”. Instead, he argued, content owners need to evolve “from sheepdogs to sherpas”, taking on the role of trusted guide leading content consumers from one platform to another.  

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