An interesting and convivial discussion occurred at the Future of Broadcasting event this evening. The subject was, perhaps, unrealistically broad and many of the usual themes appeared: business models, social television, discovery, regulation and rights.
Perhaps the most interesting change that I've seen from similar events five or six years ago is how accepting and comfortable everyone in the industry now is with the changes going on.
Perhaps the most revealing and shocking admission was from Ofcom on why they treat scheduled, on demand and online content differently. Apparently what it comes down to is whether someone chooses to access content or might 'happen' upon it. A truly mindblowing way of thinking, especially after what happened to Google execs in the Italian courts this week. The Ofcom representative was very game and eloquent, but I would argue that a service like YouTube needs more regulation than services like ITV, not less.
For my part, I rather brazenly took the opportunity to plug the companies that I'm involved with, but for a reason: I would not have invested money and time into these companies if I did not believe that they represented key technological pieces in the future of television.
VidZapper is a video management platform, like many others, but it has hooks, bells and whistles at a price that no other professional system can match. It deals with delivery.
Rights Tracker represents the big missing link in the whole online video ecosystem and the company is about to announce a number of new initiatives that will take online rights management to a new level. It deals with rights.
Vidiactive is a company that changes the way television is produced and consumed so radically, but so seamlessly that it's difficult to describe. Think of it as the ability to find any video content that's available on the web and watch it on your big screen, and then to share it with your friends and contacts. It deals with the social and delivery aspects of future TV.
Finally, TV Everywhere is currently investing in a 'discovery' company, which will be another key piece in the the TV landscape of the future.
So, these, I believe are some of the key elements that will define television in the future.