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Report: UK's Redbee on Second Screen

Dual Screen Research

 

The 'second screen' continues to be a key point of development and demand across the TV value chain.  In a new series of whitepapers drawing from primary qualitative and quantitative research, Red Bee Media and Decipher explore the definitions and dynamics of the second screen landscape, assess audience demand for synchronized, companion experiences, and reveal the opportunities and challenges afforded by the second screen for content creators, broadcasters, platforms and advertisers.

 

In the first paper 'Setting the Scene', we discuss the shape of the second screen landscape, provide definitions and introduce the key client demand and industry perceptions.

 

In the second paper 'Dual Screen Consumers', we reveal the demand that exists amongst consumers for more detailed and synchronized companion application experiences.

 

The third paper, which will reveal the opportunities and challenges for content creators, broadcasters, platforms and advertisers, will be released in November.

 

To view all of our 'Insights' reports and research, please visit our website

So Shall TV Be Disrupted? Or Democratised? Or is That the Same Thing?

Before I go on a tangent - I have to say. I love what tBone is doing. Because the solution of contextual metadata creation is the big bottleneck in the multiplatform world. Synching and triggering are key elements in creating social TV and engagement that has context. I have had a couple of meetings with the crew there and I really think they are onto something. Keep moving lads – and may the wind be on your stern.


Opinions

Of course I may be wrong on many accounts, but the piece below an attempt at a bird’s eye view on the play of many parties in this emerging paradigm of media convergence and the inevitable, massive disruption about to take place in the living room. One of the last bastions of linear, one-to-many models in a many-to-many world. Print has been torn. Music hammered into another reality. TV is next.

Off the back of numerous convergent media related conferences and events in Silicon Valley and London in the last few weeks, I have been bombarded with information from lots of people, much smarter than me in most cases - with lots of brilliant insight and ideas, doing plenty of brilliant things.

This is a rather stream-of-thought exercise in late-night, jet-lagged insomnia.

The War Has Already Begun

Social Search & Discovery – Psychodynamic Heuristics

Everyone agrees that social TV needs to be measurable. Advertisers need to secure their investments based on return value. A mobile device acts as a digital extension of each individual these days, which means that mobile phones are the gateway to accessing preferences, interests and behaviors that are unique to each individual. Mobile devices and secondary screens will have an essential role in the delivery of interactive multimedia and bidirectional communication by acting as portals to the individual. The mobile device is a pivotal point of access for bidirectional feedback, between the TV and the viewer, and between a company and a consumer.

I encounter and hear the same dilemma constantly, that there are so many channels, but there’s nothing on! This perpetual predicament indicates that there is a dire need for services that assist viewers in the “search” process by navigating through content sources. Existing companies across the TV spectrum are investing in technology and new services that help narrow down the plethora of sources by curating content. Currently, a popular form of search is through the use of a word cloud or tag cloud. This visual selection strains metadata down to generate suggestions directly related to the individual’s desired mix. Spotify uses this for it’s radio feature and Cablevision recently launched a channel to help navigate available content in this style. It’s a start, but I’ll be impressed when I’m offered entertainment suggestions from all available sources, such as: linear TV, DVR, On Demand, Pay-per-view, OTT streaming, web UGC, household cloud storage, game consoles, etc… The TV needs to be smart and exploited for its mechanical assets by deploying navigational pivots that intuitively make input switching a stress of the past.

Smart TV? Dumb TV!

As Apple prepares its March 7th event, speculation about its new tablet and TV offering is rampant in the gadget echo chambers on the web. So, with this being my first post on this fair site, I figured I may as well ride that wave and deliver Appmarket.tv a few extra pageviews.

My theory is that the more connected a TV is, the less it needs to be able to do by itself. Connectivity means the processing, the control, storage, the heavy lifting can all be done by other, more suitable devices than the TV set itself. Control your TV with an intuitive UI on a device you actually like to use, and never loose: a smartphone or tablet. Browse available content – local and in the cloud – and push, swipe or stream it to the TV for it to start playing near instantly. Again, from a device you’re already holding while sitting on your couch. Discover, talk about and interact with content that you’re watching. You guessed it, from a tablet or smartphone. It seems almost anything you’d want to do on your TV can come from other devices and the networks it’s connected to. So how much does a TV itself really needs to be able to do anymore?

Applying this theory to Apple and their imminent announcements, here’s my purely speculative set of predictions, or should I say wish list, of what Apple’s next TV product is.

TV App Development: Crossing the Chasm Between Screens

Imagine for a moment a world of apps where there are more than 10 platforms to choose from – and where most of these platforms are closed to developers. A world where only a few applications have been developed. A world where no one is using these apps anyway.

Of course this is describing the current state of the connect TV market. The description could equally apply to the mobile world pre-iPhone, when the focus of app development was on a frustratingly diverse set of platforms.

I spent a few years building businesses which operated in the mobile space pre- and post- iPhone, and lately I’ve been building a business attempting to disrupt web and connected TV. I am constantly struck by the similarity of both environments and believe that the TV industry should spend some quality time looking at the evolution of apps on the mobile from the feature phone to smart phone to avoid re-learning some painful lessons.

TV is a world apart from mobile apps

The word “app” can mean something subtly different on TV. In many cases a TV app is an access point for a set of content – for example, the YouTube, Netflix or LoveFilm apps. In other cases an app refers to functionality just as the Facebook or the eBay app.

In my more cynical moments I sometimes think we’ve ended up with apps on TV because nobody could think of anything better to do. “It worked for phones, so lets try it on TV! The right apps will be useful on TV, but at the same time it is important to recognise what the TV experience is:

UK Super Indie Producers All3Media to Sell Shows Direct to Fans via Connected TV Apps

Who owns the direct relationship with fans?

In the past, the gatekeepers of the living room have been broadcasters, pay TV operators and more recently telcos. But perhaps that's all about to change since CE manufacturers like Samsung, LG, Sharp, Philips, Apple, Google and others have decided to kick the gates wide open with Over the Top (OTT) opportunities which push through new opportunities via SDKs and APIs that allow for open standards and third party development. 

All3Media, with technology partners easel.tv and Paywizard, have created the first producer-to-fan direct VOD application, called A3M - Best of British TV - which will be launched this week in the UK and in the United States in April and it's the first UK indie to create such a platform, which will enable viewers to bypass services such as LoveFilm and Netflix as well as broadcasters. The app will unleash 230 hours of its catalogue TV shows including Skins, The Only Way Is Essex, Midsomer Murders, Derren Brown and Peep Show on internet-ready Samsung and LG televisions from its over 20 independent production houses.

The Channel: Tagging TV and Temporal Metadata

This article was originally published in the Association of International Broadcasting Magazine, The Channel and written by Richard Kastelein with ideas and help from Paul Johnson. The full magazine is located online here and a PDF version of this article is located here

Historically, TV metadata has been used to supply Electronic Programme Guides (EPGs) and therefore has been adequate for description at a show level. Typically when the industry talks about TV metadata, they talk about snippets of information and images provided by companies such as Rovi and Gracenote that can be used for the descriptive editorial information, images and multimedia on one show as a whole.

But what about at the scene level? And why is temporal metadata — or Tagging TV — the new oil?

An interview with Dale Herigstad - Luminous design for a bright Smart TV experience!

One of the world’s most influential thinkers on interactive television, convergence and emerging media, with four Emmy awards,  Dale Herigstad has an extensive background in Broadcast Design and branding. He has pioneered a unique spatial context approach to designing advanced navigation systems for Interactive TV and connected screen and is a frequent speaker on the future of media consumption in an interactive and “many-screen” world of increasingly rich media interfaces.

What is the future of Smart TV? How to create a luminous design that will enlighten TV experience across devices, and make it really consistently Smart?

Who could tell us the way better than Dale Herigstad. Dale is Chief Interaction Officer at Possible, and an internationally recognized designer thought leader on the future of interactive and “many-screen” rich media interfaces.

Especially involved in TV Design and branding, Dale has pioneered a unique spatial context approach to designing advanced navigation systems for Interactive TV and connected screens.

Dale was also part of the research team that developed the visionary gestural interfaces that first appeared in the film”Minority Report“.

I had the chance to closely collaborate with him during the Smart TV project I headed. He kindly accepted to discuss a few questions I raised about innovation and design in digital world.

What are the next challenges when conducting an innovation project in your area (digital devices such as Smart TV, mobile device, web interfaces)?

I envision 4 main challenges:

Schwarz: Society and TV, Back to Square One with Social TV

Nothing stays new in the nascent space of TV and online convergence. So aren't you a bit surprised that "Social TV" is still a cool buzzword despite having been around for a few years already? Let me suggest in five steps why the term isn't stale already by delving a bit deeper into the relationship between TV and Society. The strength and depth of that bond is one possible explanation of the buzzword's longevity.

Humanity has always used media for interaction

From the dawn of mankind until the XVIth century

Tribes or clans gathered in caves around a fire in the stone ages. We know that they had paintings on the walls, so there has been media to share and react to in a group about just about as far back as we go as a human race. Our more recent western memory contains things like evening reunions around a fire in a village hall. The absence of any formal media exchange outside of the close-knit communities created a strong sense of belonging.

The emergence of Mass media

Future TV Disruption - Forbes says it's Worth Half a Trillion Dollars For Internet Companies

And I thought I was generous in forecasting USD$200 billion up for grabs around global TV ad spend... The Trefis Team writing over at Forbes has just blown the lid off the numbers and Edward Daciuk says that the:

"... battle for $500 billion TV market is going to be more entertaining than most shows on air".

And with some bite he adds:

"... Cigar-chomping East Coast incumbents pitted against left coast tech giants and intrepid TV mogul wannabes. We've seen this in other content markets (see books and music). Distribution usually dies first. Borders and Tower Records died in the books and music battles. However the stakes in this battle are bigger, a lot bigger. Incumbents are better prepared, bring more to the table, and are more aggressive. It's unclear that if or which distributors in the TV battle will be victimized as easily. Yet clearly companies are going to die. People are going to get hurt. It's going to be great."

Daciuk and the team from Trefis have put together a great piece - albeit slightly myopic - with a total-focus on the US (while still using global numbers). There is more to the world in fact - and quite to the contrary, the value chain has been changing in European and Asian markets faster than it has in the US with ten years of IPTV in France, HbbTV standards in Europe, NHK in Japan with Hybridcast, the Koreans building Samsung and LG Smart TVs hand over fist and Youview popping it's weary head out in the UK in 2012. Yahoo was a market driver globally, most people probably don't realise... but their 2007-08 drive with Samsung to create Connected TVs with Apps sewed the seeds of Web TV Part II - along with companies like NDS and Orca Interactive in Europe and Israel. This a decade after Microsoft's way-too-early foray into the living room with WebTV. But first in the market does not always win.

I don't know how many VC, Angels and other investors  (Marco from Noah - you listening?) I have said they need to watch this space using my own blend of verbiage around parallelling Print and Music - then tossing in a couple hundred billion in TV ad spend - even going as far as to call it the next tech bubble... and Daciuk is clearly on the same page:

Why Watch TV, when you can Star in your Own Cartoon Movie Every Night?

"Why Watch TV when you can Star in your own Cartoon Movie Every night?"

The shift from passive to engaged user created content of an entertainment variety.

Consumerism takes many forms, and encompasses many kinds of products. We tend to define consumption of a product when we purchase it or use it. For example we certainly consume electricity, and this is the basis for our links into the Virtual Worlds we inhabit. We also have been consumers of electricity for a long time in regards to our entertainment patterns. Indeed radio, television and movies are all imported to us with the use of electricity. We take this so for granted, that to state this truth seems rather simplistic. Perhaps it is, and we have been consumers of entertainments in an electrified form for so long, the adaptation to the computer was rather seamless.

Traditional or old media is now having to watch as its audience once held passive in front of so much current, now shifts its paradigm to a more active form for what is being sought for entertainment. Viewership is down across the board for traditional and so is the advertising support that has provided the monetary backbone for production.

People spent more on videogames last year than Hollywood Box office. CBS just announced a $14 Million loss in the last quarter, it's only bright spot was the recently acquired CNET, and in an effort to "not ignore its audience or current trends" has agreed to broadcast its shows on of all places, YouTube.

Review: Transmedia tools – Conducttr Mobile and Weavr

It’s been a while – a year or more – since I last wrote something about possible tools to use for transmedia storytelling. In the meanwhile, so many new opportunities, products and tools have come up. What prompted me to write this post was two tools that are out there now and that represent quite different spectras of the transmedia field; both could be very useful for a given project, and I’d love to try them both out within the scope of a project. Basically, everything and anything that makes it easier for me to get my stories to the desired audience in a logical and engaging and compelling and immersive way, I’m all for it, and these two services might just fit the bill. F irst there is Conducttr Mobile, launched at the Transmedia Living Lab in Madrid the other day by Rob Pratten. Now, Conducttr has been around for a while as a tool for automating the telling of a narrative over several platforms – online, text messages and so on. This seems like the very logical next step, to take it out from the laptop or tablet and into the world of mobile.

Opinion: The Future of Brand Delivery on TV

All of us can agree on one thing - audiovisual entertainment via television has the most impact in delivering a brand message. It's the backbone of a 200 billion dollar a year global value chain and has been around for over half a century.

What we may not agree on is how brands will be delivering that message in the future, when:

  1. Media stacking (second screen engagement) becomes a norm rather than a niche behaviour.
  2. Ad-skipping is on the rise.
  3. The old model of distribution with broadcasters delivering mass audiences to brands and agencies is over.

And the fact it's all going to change rather quickly.

Shotsberger (2000) reported that though it Radio took 38 years to reach 50 million listeners. TV took 13 years to reach 50 million viewers. The Internet took four Years, iPod took three years…Facebook added 100 million users in less than 9 months and iPhone applications hit 1 billion in 9 months. How long before 100 million Tablets and Smart Phones appear in front of 100 million Smart TVs? Not as long as you think…. 2013 most likely.

Like we changed with smart phones (remember phones were just for making calls a decade ago), we will change how we engage with TV in the future with smarter remotes (control tools) that are more sleek and simple tablets rather than legacy, remote button mazes.


 
© Richard Kastelein Agora Media 2012

Simon Staffans: How To Develop Television Shows For A Social And Multiplatform World

The other day I spent 23 minutes watching a video from the BBC. It was 23 quite well spent minutes, as the journalist in question – Rory-Cellan Jones – had devoted quite a lot of effort to his subject, that of the future of television. The video features interviews with people from Microsoft, Google, Dijit, even Robert Scoble. The talks are all about how to harness the allure and the pull of television in a social and connected context, and in the end of course how to make money from it all.

What the video shows, is that there are a lot of interesting ventures out there; Google TV, connected TV sets, lots of apps for iPads and iPhones and Android gear and so on. But it also, quite clearly, shows that no one has really ”gotten it” yet. When, for instance, talking about connected TV sets, the challenge is to get the masses to actually connect the sets, to see the benefits of doing so and have the benefits outweigh the discomfort of actually having to go through the hassle of connecting the sets and using them for something else than plain viewing.
 
Here is where I see that TV program and format developers have quite a challenging task ahead of them. Content is King is the old rallying cry for the creative industries. Context is even more King, is something that has been argued lately, especially if talking about multiplatform, cross media and transmedia. Now, what we need to do, is create compelling content in the right context and infuse it with that sprinkling of magic that will make it near impossible to resist as a connected, social experience.

Talent Sidekick: Dick Rempt on Online Social Talent Acquisition Platform

This article was originally publishing in the Association of International Broadcasting (AIB) magazine, The Channel which can be found online here.

Over 900 million people worldwide are on Facebook – more than half of them check in for at least half an hour – daily. Following the eyeballs, brands are shifting significant parts of their media spend to social media – cutting down their spend on TV content and advertising.

This hurts content companies and broadcasters. Even a one per cent shift in budgets is worth millions worldwide. The past year has therefore shown a frantic search for online/social media tactics around TV content that would funnel brands’ online spend back to broadcasters and content owners.

There’s a lot to defend. Fremantle for example has invested heavily for years in successful brands like XFactor, Idols and Got Talent. Key question: is there a way to innovate these great content brands to stay competitive?

Hanna Sköld: Bucking the System with New Ways of Film Finance and Distribution

I was lucky enough to meet Hanna Sköld recently at the 2nd EU Digital Assembly in Brussels in June and share some time with her discussing future disruption in the audiovisual world - both in TV and film... and her story is simply brilliant - a must 'hear'  any industry dinosaurs and incumbents who ratchet on about how they hold the reins on TV and film financing and, it takes deep pockets and a strong traditional network to make a successful audiovisual product. Several industry pundits were skeptical of crowdfunding and crowdsourcing in general at the event - but in essence - this new movement and phenomenon only helps big players validate what can and will work in the 'big' market. 

There are other ways to raise funds and market. And Hanna's foray into crowdfunding, building community, social dissemination and open sourcing content is proof that one can launch a successful brand and cultural meme using unorthodoxy in all facets of the process of film making.

Why do so many people choose to fund a project - in essence donating money to get it done? Why do so many people choose to donate time and skills in translating it for free, screening it, sharing it, and remixing it? 

Because it feels good.

Television's Growing Pains in the New Millennium - Viewer's Have New Expectations

What exactly is TV these days? The younger the person is that you ask, the more and more you'll hear an answer that defines television by content that is shown in a series format, not just linear programming through those rigid old pipes. My thirteen year old sister watches more video on her computer than on the television set. That's probably not surprising to many of you, assuming you're following recent statistics. However, what I do find surprising about her consumption habits is that she prefers to watch web series rather than high end studio productions on a daily and weekly basis. On an average school night, she often forgets about the television screen all together!

The television experience is evolving rapidly in the new millennium. Media stacking tendencies grow with each aging year because entertainment continues to become more accessible through different sources. Dad, it's not just television, the home telephone and hippie record music anymore; Grandma, we've moved passed black and white movies, local restaurants and public radio. All of those traditional forms of entertainment have had to adapt in order to survive. The connectivity of the internet to home computers has changed everything. Get over yourself TV, it's time to grow up.

Millennials seek a more dynamic interaction of entertainment. Something that's easy and engages the senses. Entertainment is stimuli. Entertainment can be productive, informative, amusing or simply fluid engagement. We have come of age in a time when change is the norm and occurs rapidly, so naturally, we're more inclined to try new things, think abstractly and reason quickly when problem solving. We are perceived by our elders as having an ADD attention-span, a distinctive characteristic to our generational divide. We're the fault line, the dawn of always-connected, multitasking iGenerations to come.