TV reinventing itself Online

So is the Glass Half Empty or Half Full?

Ask TV professionals and you have pessimistic loud view that TV is loosing its shine and is on steady decline with Internet technology as its biggest threat coupled with fragmentation of their loyal audience amongst many of their own kinds, other channels.

The generation is not glued to TV as much to their mobile devices, this is now that youtube 2 minute videos are more popular than hours of expensive programming plus they can now pick between a growing number of digital channels, subscription TV and Internet downloads of their favorite programs.

If that was not enough then now they can even skip the ads using personal video recorders like FoxtelIQ and TiVo, or again by downloading the programs.

So the Glass is Half Empty then!?

Not really, as many other maintain. There is an optimistic view and it says ”The Glass is Half Full‘ looking forward to newer emerging opportunities for TV Online, which of course were never before.

Look at ESPN for instance which in US broadcasts sporting events live online via their ESPN360 service covering over 3000 events this year. The service can be considered a full TV network delivered through the Internet. So instead of limiting the viewers only to television, ESPN offers them with more options to view their favorite sports anytime on best available or preferred screen.

Yes it’s working for them with over 24 million subscribers for this service.

Here in India we have already seen how successfully IPL extended more screen options to the fans by showcasing the matches live on youtube and made the event available to billions around the globe. The channel views at 55,774,610 speaks clearly of its success.

Followed soon was ESPNStar offering the live streaming of ICC T20 world cup matches which again was a huge success for us generating considerable revenues while offering our loyal viewers an option of watching the matches on their preferred screen. The live streaming generated more VVs and attracted more UU as compared to best ever at ESPNStar.com otherwise in last couple of years.

If you think Live Streaming the programs is the only available option then you must read what’s happening in Australia where Hybrid Television Services a division of the Seven Network aims to create a new distribution and advertising strategies for Seven to continue earning revenues.

They are using a system called Content and Services Platform Asia (CASPA) to aggregate video content into genres and then deliver it via TiVo.

This is where it gets most interesting because now viewers selects the program they want to watch and have a choice to either pay for it or have it “paid for” by a relevant sponsor.

Which means that if it is sponsor “funded” then the viewer accepts advertising at the start and end of the program or else no advertisements at all.

Isn’t that amazing???

And it doesn’t stop there, they also allows advertisers/sponsors to create their own programming, so say a microwave manufacturer can create a program based on ‘Microwave Cooking Recipes’ taking the relationship with their prospects to next level.

The shout (advertising) suddenly is now called upon (permissive/in-bound) by the viewers themselves.

Another interesting mention would be evoTV a new internet-based station, aimed at business professionals delivering high quality business content in close consultation with the community of viewer they serve. “Where business and finance meets reality TV, branded content and entertainment”.

This online station is already reported to be profitable.

Maybe the Glass is Half Full after all!!!

Increasingly many in the industry are seeing Internet as their potential salvation rather than the worst enemy. As IPTV moves towards reality we should be seeing the industry embracing innovative new ways to deliver content, marketing messages and engage with the audiences on their preferred screens rather than pushing them to sit in front of TV after all the business was never to ensure the sales for TV manufacturers.

Anubhav Sharma
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