Will television ever become the thing of the past? Or it is already in the past? The biggest annual TV and broadcasting show IBC 2017 gives us some examples of the future TV transformation, starting with the changes in our minds.
Facebook instead of TV?
Social networks are becoming the new platform for everything. And millenials — those who where born with the technologies “in their blood” — drive the process. According to Kim Powder, CEO of Modern Times Group Danish (MTG), millenial viewers are watching more on mobile and social networks and investing less time with traditional broadcast platforms. Broadcasters should pay attention to them. Ericsson Consumer Lab report says that just 45% of people under 35 watch linear (traditional) TV comparing to 67% of older views. Millenials mostly prefer video on demand, including live events on OTT-platforms.
Social networks become more video-oriented and show new opportunities for broadcasters.
Facebook product director Daniel Danker reported that video is “exploding” on Facebook and now makes 50% of all the company’s mobile data traffic. “We expect it to grow to 75% in the next 5 years”, he said at the opening IBC 2017 keynote session.
Video is “exploding” on Facebook and now makes 50% of all the company’s mobile data traffic
Two weeks ago Facebook launched its own video platform Watch, where users can find any serialized content — that’s not possible with the standard Facebook function. Watch is supposed to be a connection between publishers and their audience, enabling them to engage with community between the episodes through the comments.
Reality TV, live sports and comedy — these genres are going to be significant on Facebook. Some of them Facebook is already testing on its platform. It’s a weekly series Humans of New York, based on photo-blog by Brandon Stanton. Or Hala Madrid — series about football-team Real Madrid. Facebook is going to expand the Watch to international territories. But we don’t know, whether Ukraine will be among them.
MTG was trailing over 500 hours of Electronic Sports League (ESL) content on Facebook. Kim Powder called it “a significant new way to reach audience”. Broadcasters should have strong reason to leave Facebook or YouTube, he said.
Keep your eyes open for 360
Another one trend is 360 content, which can be useful for desktop, mobile and virtual reality (VR) headsets. Social platforms like Facebook and YouTube are also taking the lead here. Facebook has nearly a million of 360 videos and 17 millions of photos, created in that way. Users already watched them more than 500 million times. The most popular are sports games, travel content, horror videos, says Facebook 360 Manager on its boost at IBC.
Facebook works with several manufacturers of 360 cameras, including Samsung, Giroptic, Lenovo’s Moto 360 Camera. Those cameras have the specific software, which makes uploading process of those videos easier. It means that anyone can be creator of simple 360 content.
While you can buy a camera for personal use up to $200, the transmission of big-screen 360 content is still too expensive. The global satellite operator SES and its partner Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute HHI had a pilot satellite broadcasting of panoramic video in the high resolution of 10K by 2K on its boost on IBC. The video has been transmitting to the UltraHD screen and several VR-devices. “Capacity need is about half a transponder. So you can use two VR channels per transponder. Prices per transponder differ from satellite to satellite and depend on many factors”, said SES Astra vice-president for business development CIS Onno Zonneveld.
Now you can even touch the virtual reality: technology companies go extra mile to make the VR-experience better. The company named Generic Robotics showed its new controller Toia for operating the objects in VR-environment. And it feels like touching the real objects.
That will never happen
“TV is not going anywhere. It is at the very heart of video usage”, assures TF-1’s Distribution Head Fabrice Mollier. According to him, in France 45 million people watch live TV daily on a TV screen. And TV is not switching off as quickly as analysts once predicted. Despite the decade of disruption, traditional TV viewing has remained resilient. According to Mollier, TV still has the lead in millennial digital video consumption in France (93%), Switzerland (93%), Ireland (69%), Canada (62%). In United Kingdom 89% of households have access to the internet, but still spend 3 hours and 30 minutes a day watching TV.
He suggests that the death of TV has been so greatly exaggerated because advertisers themselves tended to underestimate TV consumption.
A study by UK commercial broadcaster ITV shows that advertisers tended to underestimate the amount of TV “normal” people watched per day by almost 50 minutes. Not so many people share Mollier’s opinion. Only 20% of the IBC session audience agreed with him, and 80% gave TV just another 10 years.
President and CEO of Digital Consumer Group (21 Century Fox) Brian Sullivan believes that disruption in TV is perfectly natural. He noticed that once consumers had all the power. They watched a couple of TV-channels for free and that was super fun. Cable, and then VHS, and then DVD changed that paradigm. Then personal video recorders came, then streamers. And consumers could get everything for $10. The demands have changed and it is a challenge for traditional TV.
consumers could get everything for $10
“If we knew how we could monetize in the social world, we would”, he said. But personally he doesn’t think long-form video works on social media, because users spend only 3 seconds on watching any video in social networks. So it’s too early to say “goodbye” to the traditional TV.