Friday, 30 November 2007

Amateur movie makers move over

Home movies have reached the end of the line. As production values online improve, web viewers and advertisers are turning away from user generated content. Web sites that once made a decent income from premiering skateboarding cats and bungee jumping dogs are shifting focus to professionally produced programming.

The evidence? Bebo has opened up it pages to media companies, ManiaTV has closed down its user generated channels and Hollywood has spotted the marketing opportunity that the web provides as a new channel for promoting movies.

Advertisers’ clearly want to follow web traffic, but there is a broader driver. They also want to protect their brands online. Premium brands are understandably uneasy about aligning themselves with user-generated content.

UK TV rivals come together for on-demand

In a completely unprecedented move, the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 are in 2008 to launch a joint on-demand service. The new service will bring together around 10,000 of hours of television programmes in the one place, including access to both current shows and archive material.

With all three parties already having their own on-demand services, this move could be viewed as surprising. But they have realised that consumers are more likely to use a site that has output from all major broadcasters rather than individual sites. It also prevents (for the time being) content being sold by another provider, which takes the away the control over pricing and packaging, a fate that has already hurt the music industry.

2007 has been a landmark year for the TV industry, with the push towards IPTV and TV over mobile, and this announcement ensures that 2008 is going to be equally significant for the industry.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

India ripe for IPTV

Microsoft and Reliance Communications will launch India's first high-definition internet television service next year.

The Indian market has all the right conditions for IPTV – a large TV-viewing population which is fond of TV and entertainment, a movie industry which produces the most films worldwide annually, and eased broadcasting restrictions which mean that scores of news and entertainment channels which have sprung up in the past decade.

However, whilst there are about 71-million homes in the country of 1.1 billion people who already have television, 61 percent of them currently have pay TV, mainly through cable and satellite, according to industry figures. Some say this could slow uptake of services, but perhaps it’s really pricing and content deals that will make or break it.

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Broadcasters fight back against internet upstarts

US broadcasters NBC and Fox have finally unveiled, their belated response to YouTube. The site will carry free ad-supported video clips from the two networks' shows as well as content from MGM and Sony.

Broadcasters have finally worked out that user experience and content are the two drivers of customer subscriptions and are fighting back against internet over the top TV entrepreneurs.