Last week the online video services company Viocorp hosted an interesting webcast debate about the future of television. Panellists including ABC managing director Mark Scott and Beyond CEO Mikael Borglund discussed topics including the impact of broadband delivery on existing broadcasters, content creation funding models and the impact of other media on the television consumption habits of viewers. You view a recording of Viocorp’s Future of Television Webcast here.
The deployment of fast broadband to many homes has already seen a surge in the number of consumers who are watching long-form video online. In the UK, the Guardian newspaper reported that the BBC’s iPlayer online video service received 70 million requests for content in the month of October 2009 (about two thirds of those requests were for video content) and transferred seven petabytes of data. In the same month in Australia iTnews reported that the ABC’s iView service had 286,000 visitors who visited the site 1.05 times – its highest result on record.
Clearly consumers are becoming accustomed to watching television that is delivered to them via the internet, and it is likely that many more would do so if they had access to a fast and reliable service.
Broadcast licences were once the jewels in the crowns of media empires, but those days will soon be over. The challenge now for traditional broadcasters is to adapt their models for this new world, where their ability to secure and promote content may be much more valuable to investors and advertisers than simply their ability to broadcast it.