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…
What can mobile offer the connected TV arena?
The platform ecosystem for consumer entertainment is shifting, and mobile is becoming a core part of those experiences. Television and mobile have long been considered as separate independent industries, but this is all about to change. The television is now the final frontier for the mobile industry. The operating system players – Apple, Google and Microsoft in particular – are investing significant R&D dollars in developing solutions that can carry their platforms across to the main screen in the living room. They are incredibly well placed to do it, leveraging their significant global scale and rapid innovation cycles to bring new functionality to the TV screen. And they will use their position of strength in mobile as the “way in”, either by licencing technologies such as Airplay and Smart Glass to TV manufacturers, or more likely by convincing consumers to buy an inexpensive box (gateway) to plug into your TV HDMI.