In June 2014, the US Supreme Court ruled that cloud-hosted video streaming platform Aereo had breached copyright in the way it ‘acquired’ content, and the service was forced to shut down three days later. While the tech-savvy consumer might have felt aggrieved to see the dissolution of a highly innovative and forward thinking content service, the ruling came at the defence of the multi-billion-dollar television industry that is determined to avoid the catastrophe that engulfed the music industry 10 years ago.
So what does this mean for entrepreneurs and how can they learn from it?
I seem to repeat the same discussion with every media executive I meet – I argue that connected TV is going to fundamentally change the way we watch TV, but the response, usually from those with a few more grey hairs than me, is to argue that consumers want a “lean-back” experience and that’s exactly what they’ve got with linear broadcast TV. I don’t disagree with this argument – I think linear TV is a great product and will prevail long into the future – but to couch it in an argument of “linear vs. on demand” is too narrow in today’s market.
Here’s my rebuttal: I agree that most people don’t want to be leaning forward to select the next programme as the last one finishes, like selecting individual tracks from a music library. My argument is that linear itself is going to change, and that is what’s going to drive our shift in viewing behaviour. Let me explain…
Referencing Chairman of Dish Network, Charlie Ergen’s interview with the Wall Street Journal. Read it here.
Dish Network has come under severe pressure since it launched the Auto Hop feature in May this year. But is Charlie Ergen right when he says,
“The new ad-skipping feature that has infuriated major broadcast TV networks is a “competitively necessary” response to the explosion of cheap Internet video”
Speech made at the Apppli Connected TV event, 10th May 2012
Connectivity is radically changing the way in which we as consumers access content and services via the TV. Much has been written about the new consumer behaviours as viewing shifts on demand and cross-platform, broadening access to traditional television content and in some cases allowing new content to reach the TV screen. Connected TV is fundamentally changing the model across the entire value chain.