Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Evolution v Revolution

There is one huge difference between the UK and the US when it comes to television provision. In the US the network operators have made a serious dent in the business of traditional broadcasters. AT&T's Uverse and Verizon's Fios have brought fibre to the masses.

In the UK, IPTV hasn't made a dent, and most of the major network operators don't have any kind of TV service at all - Orange, O2 and Vodafone, to name the major ones. Those that have (TalkTalk and BT) have made little impact after spending many, many millions.

Today, any organisation wanting to become a serious broadcaster has a fundamental question to ask themselves. Do they evolve, spend hundreds of millions, build a 'me-too' system that's never quite as good as Sky or Virgin, or do they revolt and go after what television will look like in the future ?

Now, I have to declare a vested interest in this since Vidiactive is a company firmly aimed at creating a revolution in the way TV is consumed. Not 'all the usual channels plus YouTube and iPlayer', but, 'sod scheduled TV let's male every video on the web available on your TV', and then some.

But that's content, it doesn't address how content is consumed - across many screens, with complimentary screen tweeting and chatting, shared with friends, placed in playlists for future viewing (Did you say PVR ? How quaint...).

Television as an industry is in a state of paralysis since the stakes are high and to be almost right is better than being wrong.

There are going to be some brave winners, I predict, from this situation. Companies that invent tomorrow's TV, not copy yesterday's.