Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Old dogs

It seems that people in the UK aren't half as keen on time shifting and ad exclusion software such as Tivo and Sky + according to a study out today from a consortium including ACB, the London Business School, Initiative, Ofcom, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel Five.

This is borne out by our experience with broadband channels at Narrowstep. A regular 80% of viewers watch the timeline - that is, the 24 x 7 schedule, rather than use the search function or go directly to the video on demand content.

The reason, I believe, is quite simple. People are tired of having to make choices when they want to be entertained. They want to click a couple of buttons and then let everything just happen.

It's not a coincidence that traditional broadcasters spend a fortune on experts and editors to put together their schedules.

There's another figure that is interesting, which is that the viewing time for 24 x 7 scheduled service is much longer than for a video on demand service. Which is great if you're trying to deliver advertising. This is borne out by a recent mobile tv trial conducted by O2 in the UK.

If it looks like television, people will treat it like television. If it looks like the web, people will treat it like the web and be fickle users.

There's no doubt that we're moving to a far more on demand world, with features like 'DIY schedules' becoming viable, but the schedule is here to stay for some time yet.

Expect the term 'sticky television' to make an appearance any day now.

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