Jonathan Thompson, chief executive of Digital UK, told the Broadcasting Press Guild while it could not be denied that the UK was at a moment of profound change technology alone cannot dictate the future of television.
“Twenty years ago, it was predicted that the arrival of digital television would lead to fragmentation of audiences to the big main channels. It didn’t turn out that way with that same handful of major channels still attracting more than half of all viewing. We should learn from that and be a bit more sceptical about some of the big claims we hear about OTT leading to the death of broadcast television.
“We should be less willing as an industry to adopt the Silicon Valley view of the world based on flimsy evidence and half-truths. We should be wary of big claims when coupled with a lack of transparency over audience figures and instead focus on real world evidence of what viewers are actually doing.”
Thompson suggested that even the much talked about millennials, who have fully embraced the on demand world were still watching more live TV than anything else.
Evidence, he said, was pointing to a blend of viewing and technologies. And that the TV industry itself was not representative of viewing trends as a whole.