It’s TV Jim, but not as we know it


21 Jul 2008

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A white paper released by IBM Business Consulting Services describes a future where TV consumers will be in either ‘lean back’ or ‘lean forward’ modes.

The ‘lean back’ people will be largely passive in the living room, while the other segment will want a more PC-like experience – they will self-navigate, toggle, search and self-author content.

The authors of the report, entitled The end of television as we know it, believe the fashion-forward consumer segment – or the ‘Gadgetiers’ and ‘Kool Kids’ as they call them – will lead us to a world of platform-agnostic content, fluid mobility of media experiences, individualised pricing schemes and an end to the traditional concept of release windows.

Most TV viewers today, however, fit into the ‘Massive Passive’ segment defined in the report. These folks are generally content with their traditional TV experiences and uninspired to change in the near future.

The report predicts that the two distinct audience types will co-exist for the coming five to seven years.

Due to this bi-modality and the growing complexity of the market, the report expects value shifts in the industry as new and old participants fight for position. For example, given the move of some advanced users to new screens, such as PC and mobile, and away from traditional broadcast schedules and advertising, it looks likely traditional programmers will weaken in the years ahead.

At the same time, as Gadgetiers and Kool Kids actively seek new IP-based video experiences, online packaging and programming providers – such as internet portals or search engines – are expected to add TV and video offerings. This could mean they will catapult into a high-value, high-margin position within the TV business, as they glean advertising and service revenues.

To both protect current and grow future revenues, the report recommends leading companies do the following: dynamically profile consumer groups; tailor products and services by segment; cost-effectively operate tandem channels; and end the ‘one-size-fits-all’ marketing approach.

By Sorcha Corcoran