Saturday, December 31, 2016

The 2016 IPies

We are resurrecting the IPies award for the best and worst of the IPTV world.

The Trend Of The Year is Box Sets. Unfortunately, it is resulting in shaggy dog TV series, which go on and on and on with no resolution. But at its best, this format is captivating and we are truly seeing a golden age of television production.

Best TV Programme goes to Billions, a low profile Amazon release, closely followed by Halt And Catch Fire. Neither Mr Robot and its indulgent second series, nor Stranger Things, which seemed to me to be a bad, endless version of Stand By Me, were nominated. (Please feel free to flame me at itotallydisagreewithyouripies@iptvtimes.net).

The Unintended Consequences Award goes jointly to Facebook and Twitter, with a dishonourable nod to Google for pervading enough garbage to turn one of the world's worst liars into the leader of the so-called free world. The EU also deserve a nod for handing the entire European media industry into the hands of big US companies by creating a single market which only the Americans can afford to exploit.

The Monopoly Award was the most keenly contested. Again Google tried their best with total domination of the online ad industry (at least Facebook provided some dishonest competition, but it was all at the cost of traditional media outlets, and probably honest journalism.) But the award goes to BT, who manage to have their cake and eat it in the UK with not only total control of broadband, but an unerring ability to win contracts for the gaping holes they themselves had created in their network. The award is jointly given to OFCOM and the governments of England and Wales for being totally complicit and not splitting out Open Reach and requiring they provide at least 10Mbps broadband to every citizen in the UK and 100Mbps to 95% of residents by the end of 2017. This is easily achievable. It really isn't that difficult or expensive once you break this damn monopoly. To US readers, yes, Comcast was also nominated, but there is worse to come from them under Trump and he end of net neutrality, I suspect, so we'll hold back the award for next year.

Like all other culturally aware awards, we now, of course have a Culturally Diversity Award, which this year goes to the new US President for the way he has brought together fascists everywhere and given this sad minority hope that they can turn the clock back and be recognised as human beings again.

The Crap User Interface Of The Year was again closely contested, proving that designers are pretty useless at temporal design (find some architects). BT Sport's app has improved but remains poor. But the prize goes to ITV who seem to expect that everyone knows all of their programmes and can search for them by name.

The Welcome To The 21st Century Award goes to the US networks who have finally started to offer online services, around a decade too late.

The World Domination Award, for the seventieth year in succession (that's more than Andy Murray has won SPOTY I understand), goes to Rupert Murdoch. And there's more to come for the world dominating Fox empire...

The Best Online Service Award goes to Sky's Now TV, just pipping Amazon Prime, and leaving Netflix trailing badly.

Best Device Award goes to Roku (part owned by Sky) for replacing traditional TV in my household.

Service of the year goes to the amazing, but probably illegal Mobdro app which does everything you wish your TV service did: most global TV stations, free, with the ability to record and project onto your big screen.

The Can't Figure This Bloody Industry Out Award goes to Apple yet again, for not being able to figure out how to monopolise TV in the way they have nearly monopolised music. This is company that looks increasingly like Ballmer's Microsoft: lazy, complacent, living on past glories and unable to innovate.

The Living In The Past Award goes to the ad agencies still running Flash creatives (they only work on around 25% of all viewers now, so why persist ?). Runners up are all the agencies using programmatic or behavioural targeting: talk about biting the hand that feeds, it is destroying journalism and media.

Finally, we're awarding the Run To The Hills Award to ourselves, and anyone who wants to join us. The Chinese curse goes "May you live in interesting times." We certainly do, and we think this does not bode well.

Our commiserations are with you for 2017. We're so sorry.