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.