The Great Connected Television Debate: Nick Thexton (Cisco)
During the IBC 2012 session ‘The Great Connected Television Debate: Will The Internet Be The End Of Television As We Know It? (IBC 2012)’ two teams were speaking for and against this will debate whether the emergence of video devices and displays connected directly to data networks will make traditional television channels redundant and obsolete.
Below a summary of Mr. Thexton’s perspective during ‘The Great Connected Television Debate: Will The Internet Be The End Of Television As We Know It’ during IBC 2012.
Nick Thexton is CTO for the Service Provider Video Technology Group at Cisco in the UK. He most recently served as SVP and CTO at NDS before the acquisition of the company by Cisco this year. Het argues that it’s the channel that is changing and has to go through a transformative process, and that some of the channels will fail.
Commoditization of broadband: Cheaper devices and cheaper delivery
Mr. Thexton start with pointing at the technological developments within the field of (IP)video and video delivery. At average and peak times broadband in the UK serves 50% video traffic. The commoditization of broadband will result in lower costs and cheaper connected devices and delivery to these devices. As a result more screens and devices will be available and it’s the channel that has to adapt to this development. Simply putting an ethernet connection on the back of a TV won’t result in a ‘Connected TV’ experience. Therefore, in minutes viewed measurement lies a trap, it’s about how engaged the viewer is during those minutes.
Fragmentation and personalization makes channels irrelevant
Also, channels are becoming less relevant since content is discovered differently. It’s the program name that is being typed into the search box in within a STB, website or on-demand platform. The curation value is high for traditional channels and has always been one of the powers of popular channels. However, fragmentation has been developing since digital television and is taking a leap with new places for content discovery around the web and on connected devices. The unique aspect of the connected device however, is personalization. ‘I want content that resolves around me (…) and not what some channel thinks might be interesting for me in the future. A social aspect comes in as well with friends joining in the personalization process.
Content rights and mass distribution
The advantage for channels are content rights. Channels buy content rights and have a powerful system for mass distribution of this content. It’s not a ‘pay as you go’ business, it’s a so called ‘pay upfront’ universe in which you pay first and than go after the audience. Thexton argues that what has to happen in this new connected universe, channels will go after their connected viewers in a even more aggressive way, and the smart ones will be able to make that personalized experience even more valuable.
Value of the channel and the living room
As an example Thexton discusses the future changes in the living room as we know it. They looked at the size certain types of content should be. For example, does 60-inches of sports provide the same value as 60-inches of news? He concludes stating there will be a growth of connected devices with more personalized content, channels have a lot of strengths and have to show in the coming years whether they can remain relevant.
Also read the perspectives of the other speakers during the great connected television debate at IBC 2012
Saul Berman, IBM
Saul Berman is Partner & Vice President, Global Strategy Consulting Leader & Innovation and Growth Services Leader at IBM Global Business Services. Mr. Berman wrote a paper in 2005 called ‘The End of Television as we know it’ (which served as the inspiration for this blog during my university courses in new media & television).
Read more about Mr. Berman’s perspective on The End of Television as we know it.
Jon Honecutt, Discovery
Jon Honeycutt is EVP and COO for Discovery Networks International. He argues that people have always been talking about the death of TV industry or the death of linear channels. And although the industry has been through changes when free terrestrial was joined by paid cable and the analog signal became digital.
Read more about Mr. Honeycutt’s perspective on The End of Television as we know it.
David Brennan, Media Native
David Brennan was Research and Strategy Director at Thinkbox from its launch in 2006 until August 2011, when he set up his own media consultancy – Media Native – specialising in the role of TV in the communications mix in the 21st Century.
Read more about Mr. Brennan’s perspective on The End of Television as we know it.
Anthony Rose, Zeebox
Anthony Rose is Co-founder and CTO of Zeebox, a new platform that turns live TV into a two-way, social and interactive viewing experience on the seconds screen. Previously he headed up BBC iPlayer from 2007 to 2010, taking it from pre-launch to major success story.
Read more about Mr. Rose’s perspective on The End of Television as we know it.
Nigel Walley, Decipher
Nigel Walley is Managing Director of Decipher the media strategy consultancy, and Chairman of the Decipher Group of companies. Since founding Decipher in 1998, he has worked on interactive media and technology projects for a wide range of clients including NTL, Telewest, ITV, the BBC, Sky, UKTV, Channel 4, Sony, the UK Govt (DTI), and Viacom.
Read more about Mr. Walley’s perspective on The End of Television as we know it.