The Driving Digital Content conference in London this week gave some indicators as to how long the new technologies of the moment might take to get hold. Julian Clover reports
It occasionally feels like we are all waiting for Godot. Trials take place; a press release follows saying how successful they were, but still no service. Understanding and Solutions’ Alison Casey, speaking to the research outfit’s Driving Digital Content event was able to put some dates as to when the green shoots might poke a little further upwards. The event itself brought in both studios and technologists for a rare get together.
Video downloads are becoming increasingly common, but as was the case with the music industry, there is that nagging feeling that the studios are not quite ready. “Up until this year online services have not been the greatest compelling consumer proposition. We’re starting to see activity out there, but a lot of things have to be in place before revenues start to grow,” says Casey.
According to Understanding and Solutions research, 2008 will be the year when some of the key players begin to enter the market. Casey anticipates that online sell-through will be at the same price as a standard DVD or possibly up to 30% less “People need to experiment and it’s not the greatest proposition if it’s at the same price.” There are other factors that are likely to come into play such as broadband speeds, typically higher in the Scandinavian market, and lower in southern Europe.
Earlier in the day Warner Bros had told delegates that the studio was already beginning to experiment with VOD windows, but Casey warned that it might take several years before there was a widespread shift.
Online TV, described by Casey as “Not the greatest proposition,” though she acknowledged Apple had enjoyed some success in the United States. Again, 2008 is when it will all start to happen, as broadcasters increasingly exploit the synergies between online and linear TV to drive people back to the TV show itself.
“We do believe that advertising funded models will start to take off, not so much in the movie space but in TV content, that is after all where most of their revenues have come from up until now.”