CTAM CABLE MARKETING EUROSUMMIT – BARCELONA. Even though this is “the most unsettling time in the history of television,” according to NDS Group President and CEO Dr Abe Peled in his keynote address to the CTAM Eurosummit 2007, cable does have opportunities ahead, “as pay-TV operators have to become total entertainment partners of the consumer and deliver content anytime, anywhere.” Yes, there is competition coming from niche content suppliers, user generated websites and mainstream media are launching web channels and on demand programmes, but “regular broadcast delivery will remain the most cost effective delivery for mass media TV for the next five years.”
But content owners are increasingly after direct contact with cable’s customers, he warned, “Disney launched a small video player called Disney. You can buy movies on a small SD card and play it back, but you are able to plug such an SD card into any device, as most mobile devices now have an SD interface.”
There are a lot of contenders after this, trying to bypass you as a cable company to reach the audience. There are PC players, such as Hulu, Joost, XMBC. There are the game consoles with direct broadband access. And Sony is now selling all its Bravia TV sets in Japan and the US with an ethernet connector in the back and they come with a television browser.”
However, “cable systems have a real opportunity to offer the best of both worlds, of broadband and broadcast. Broadband IP delivery will be a complementary medium best suited for on demand and long tail content. Pay-TV operators need to embrace broadband and long tail content and offer their customers the ease of access and choice. They should expand their customer relationship to become their media partner from any source, on any device, anytime.”
This should all come in one customer interface from a hybrid set-top box. In the new world, advertising can also be more targeted, according to demographics or postal codes. The days of mass advertising seem to disappear and there is a growing demand for accountability.
“TV advertising, we know it works, but it’s article of faith. When you spend a lot of money, it works. But now advertisers expect more targeted, auditable and accountable advertising.”