The 'Tipping Point' in the UK

PaidContent.org features a transcript of the speech that Ashley Highfield, Director of BBC New Media & Technology, gave on Monday to the Royal Television Society:

    “What we are witnessing at the moment in the UK is, I believe, a tipping point. As more people have digital TV in the UK than don’t, and as more homes are already connected to the Net than are not, so the rate of take-up may actually increase, aided by a number of social and technological forces coming together. This critical phase for digital TV will take us through to analog switch off which the government is aiming for in around seven year’s time. The successful media companies in this context will be those that realize the landscape has changed and that viewers want to consume their media in fundamentally different ways to the traditional image of a family, gathered around the TV box, watching with rapt attention.”

Highfield belives that:

    At the simplest level — audiences will want to organize and re-order content the way they want it. They’ll add comments to our programmes,programmes, vote on them and generally mess about with them. But at another level, audiences will want to create these streams of video themselves from scratch, with or without our help. At this end of the spectrum, the traditional “monologue broadcaster” to “grateful viewer” relationship will break down, and traditional advertising and subscription models will no longer be viable. Digital TV has, until this point, been led by the commercial sector, but the next phase will see public sector services playing a far greater role. As the creative R&D for the nation, the BBC has a distinctive role to play in creating the content, services and tools which audiences want for this future TV world and which the market at the moment cannot risk providing.
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