Strong consumer appetite for infotainment — TIF

4 Sep 2006

Consumers are no longer concerned about the platform that news and entertainment are delivered on but rather on the content itself, the principal trade association for the electronic communications industry in Ireland said today.

“Convergence spans voice, data and multimedia content and is already part of the consumer mindset,” said Tommy McCabe, director of the IBEC-based Telecommunications and Internet Federation (TIF). “Consumers are no longer concerned about the platform that the content is delivered on but rather on the content itself. In essence, the consumer doesn’t mind whether the programming arrives via satellite, cable, DSL or wireless as long as it is affordable and of good quality.”

McCabe said that the impact of infotainment and how it is delivered to Irish consumers will be explored at a major industry conference to be held in Dublin on 19 October.

A key trend that will be discussed at the conference will be convergence of media platforms and consumer appetite for content and technology in the years ahead.

The conference will include senior industry speakers such as BT chairman Sir Christopher Bland, Mike Quigley, chief operating officer of Alcatel and the new chairman of Eircom Pierre Danon.

Also speaking will be John Killian, head of international business of Verizon (USA), Ken Peterson, executive chairman of Magnet Networks and CVC, Teresa Elder, chief executive of Vodafone Ireland and Shane O’Neill, director of strategy, Liberty Global and chairman of UPC Ireland.

McCabe said that infotainment is an emerging area that will be crucial in a converged world of telecoms and something that all telecom operators are keen to get a handle on.

Infotainment, he said, “encompasses a blend of hard and soft news, marketing material and a huge surge in user-generated content. All types of media content will be available through converged providers in triple- and quad-play services. TV, films, email, sport and the internet will all be available through one portal on any device, even when on the move.

“We are entering an era where content and functionality are becoming platform independent. This dynamic environment poses a substantial challenge to the industry and raises some significant questions: can all technology platforms survive in a converged world? How will infotainment affect news and entertainment? What are the new opportunities created by convergence?” he said.

McCabe concluded: “These important questions will be addressed at the conference by a panel of expert national and international speakers, drawn from a number of disciplines within the fields of telecommunications, broadcasting and ICT.”

The TIF conference focusing on telecommunications, convergence and infotainment will be held at Dublin’s Mansion House on 19 October. Details of the conference are available on the TIF website:

By John Kennedy