IPies 2007

Hold the front page, get the red carpets out and book the primetime TV awards slot (since we haven’t been rumbled for fixing the telephone voting – well, you can hardly rig yourself, can you ?) It's that time of year to sit down with the mulled wine and hand out the TV on IP's least prestigious (and no longer only) awards. (see the 2006 IPies here)

Newcomer of the Year – a lot of new services have impressed, but, for showing the way in the country that invented telly (sorry,Philo and RCA), the award goes to the UK’s Channel 4 for their excellent 4OD service – and for proving that there’s a mint to mine in this industry.

Technology of the Year – this award is a toughie, since it’s been a dire year for technical innovation in this industry with everyone fighting for financial gain and forgetting that they need to improve their basic technologies. An honourable mention goes to Akamai for their Media Framework that enables the rapid development of players from their platform (if only in Flash). But the award goes to – Adobe, for offering H.264 support within Flash video (even if the announcement was premature to the delivery of stable technology).

Service of the Year - goes to my old firm, Narrowstep, for providing what is, in my mind, without doubt the best delivery platform on the internet which continues to be re-invented by every Tom, Dick and Harry (when it would be much cheaper for them to go and talk to Narrowstep).

The Don't Hold Your Breath Award - goes to Microsoft IPTV for the second year running. Enough said…

Trend of the YearIPTV – everyone’s trying to build walled gardens. Good luck, chaps…
Person of the Year – Rod Henwood from Channel 4 for launching 4OD and for being part of the Kangaroo initiative for a single internet TV service covering the three main UK broadcasters.

The Where Are They Now Award – goes to Roo, a company with a confused strategy since its inception.

Smart Acquisition of the Year Award – goes to Google for YouTube, duh…

The ‘So What ?’ Award – for the second year running, goes to BT and their pretty pointless VoD service BT Vision. Just try and sign up to it to see what I mean…

The 'We Don't Care Because We're The BBC' Award - goes this year to Ashley Highfield, Director of the Future Media and Technology group at the BBC, who, with a budget of £400m and a salary of over £300k is delivering a service that pales beside rivals such as Channel 4 and ITV Local. I tried to connect to the BBC's 'flagship' new media programme Click and could not do so - and even if I had, it wouldn't be in the iPlayer. The Beeb has made some progress in 2007 but needs to speed up the integration of its various 'brands' into the iPlayer and provide a more coherent service before Kangaroo appears.

Dumb move of the year – investing in the internet TV sector, where losses of 90% for public companies over the course of the year has not been unusual. However, more recent and longer term investors might win the inaugural 'Smart Move of the Year' Award next year!

The 'Teenagers and Sex' Award - goes to ad agencies, who claim that they want targeted advertising, but really just want numbers…

The Party Pooper Award - goes jointly to the EU (again) for their ludicrous Television Without (sic) Frontiers legislation and to OFCOM for their generally useless and posturing attitude towards Internet TV.
Next up, and my final post for 2007 will be The IPTV Almanac, predicting the trends to come in 2008 and beyond.

Finally, the Dream Team Award goes to those great, hardworking, ingenious and clever people who made Narrowstep Europe’s top internet TV company. Thank you - I miss you.

A Happy New Year to all IPTV Times readers and subscribers - thanks for all your comments and feedback during the year ! 2008 is going to be a great and exciting time for all of us.