TVolution: what does the future hold?

I recently attended Thinkbox’s ‘TVolution: what does the future hold?’ event. The talks were split into the following three themes: The future of TV technology; The future of audiences and The future of measurement.

Some fantastic arguments were made throughout the day. We have extracted what we believe were the three strongest, contentious and most impactful points alongside a pinch of our opinions.

Future tech – There to harness not harm TV

Facts can always be spun to cater for a particular view and you will often be told that everyone is more inclined to watch VOD on their tablet and that live TV is dying. While TV live viewing is decreasing, the average person is still consuming 4 hours 35 mins of TV a day and there has never been a richer time for content. Mega-buck productions such as Game Of Thrones and Fortitude highlight this current golden age of programme investment. Yes, tablet penetration is very high – 91% of the Housewife and Children population currently own one – however as Paul Lee, Head of TMT Research at Deloitte, tells us, tablet growth is actually born on game optimisation than it is for watching content. If you are to take one fact from this paragraph, let it be the staggering statistic that only 2% of the BBC is actually watched on iPlayer.

It was a unanimous view that new screens, new on-demand services, new recording devices all represent fantastic opportunities and that they will continue to become more impactful on plans,. However, the key seems to be how we can bring all of these new technologies together in order to tell a succinct story to the consumer, rather than replacing them with one another.

Outside the bubble – Technology issues that still trouble the UK

One of the most interesting points of the whole talk was surrounding Broadband. As mentioned above, facts can be skewed to your point of view and it is a fact that the average speed of broadband is increasing. However this is dictated by the high end getting quicker and quicker; the actual number of residents with slow broadband is actually increasing also.

Living and working in London, alongside the majority of clients, it is easy to forget that only 82% of the UK are actually able to get broadband, and out of that 82% a number of them are still unable to have a quick enough connection that will allow them to stream content from the likes of BBC Iplayer and 4OD etc.

Broadband is actually being reclassified in the US, and Deloitte predict we will be soon to follow. This will give us more of an accurate understanding to the limitations of online video. As a result by 2025 Deloitte forecast that only 80% of the population will have broadband access. A drop of 2% from the present due to the redefining of what exactly broadband is. Incidentally 90% will still be accessing live TV….

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