Is TV dying, or is it just a hype?
Last Friday I attended disrupTV, an “un-conference” for media technologies that I helped organizing. The event was organized by Nir Ofir and Rafael Mizrahi, hosted by Yossi Vardi and Jeff Pulver, and was the first “un-conference” on this topic in Israel.
In one of the presentations a question was raised – what should change in TV today? The usual statements about death of TV where told.
I had an unpopular opinion: nothing is wrong with TV, please don’t touch it.
What is Televison?
TV, in its purist meaning won’t change. TV is a winning format. Good stories told in 22, 45 or 60 minutes slots is a great invention. Especially when channels realize the power of story again, and let masterpieces such as “The Wire” go on air.
And you know what? The last thing I want is an interactive experience while watching high quality shows. I don’t want to buy the bottle of wine people are drinking on screen. I just want to be entertained. So please, don’t touch my TV
The TV set
The TV set is a different story. Yes, the TV set will change. Eventually it is just a screen. I am certain the new capabilities will be introduced into the TV SET, as a device. Most of them will fail, as companies will face UI issues again and again. However, smart TV sets and appliances, such as AppleTV, has a disruptive nature that is much more profound than adding interactivity to shows. AppleTV, iTunes, and competing services are breaking the value chain of the TV industry. This is the real issue.
Changes will happen
AppleTV and iTunes enable users to buy content directly from the producers. This is a major shift in power, as channels are no longer the sole distribution method of TV content. I will drill down to this issue in my next post.
Where is the money?
There are 3 main domains that will continue to change the market, and could provide financial gain to the ones who would master them:
1. On demand experience – when programming losing force, and consumers are moving toward personal viewership experience, on demand platforms will role the media world in years to come.
2. Content Discovery – following the previous point, content discovery, the ability to find the right content for the viewer, becomes an increasingly important need. Programing is a very primitive content discovery method – we know your demographics so we will push you the right content. As mentioned before, this method is losing ground. New technologies should solve this issue in a better way.
3. Commuinty – Vardi stated that there is a missing link in the community aspects of media consumption. Programming enabled people to gather in a specific point in time and share an experience. On demand viewership killed this aspect. He believes that there is here a potential for new players.
A word for TV executives
Time will tell how TV will change. But please, please, keep producing high quality drama, funny shows and great content. Changes will come, but one thing never changes – there is always audience for great content…