Investigating the possible effects of new technology on the economics of television. By Sue Unerman, Chief Strategy Officer, MediaCom UK
I went to my first “disrupterthon” last week. When I told one colleague that this was where I was going, she said that was how she considered every meeting that I was in. (I’m sure that’s flattering if you think very positively about it).
This was a TV Disrupterthon run by the British Screen Advisory Council with some excellent guest speakers including Claire Enders, David Abraham, John Gisby from Magine and Group M’s Jakob Nielsen.
The debate was framed as a way of exploring what the Black Swan’s of TV would be, and how and when they’d hit us.
Notably David Abraham welcomed us to a world of change, to the “meta connected data world” where one in three 16-24s have signed up to hand over their data to C4. C4 are training a generation of viewers to interact with VOD ads in a mould-breaking fashion. Equally notably, Claire Enders gave us the view that it is women over 40 who drive UK culture (outside gaming) and that, therefore, things would be slow to change on mainstream TV.
Both views have their merits, of course. But, in my view, true disruption will come from one of two sources. First, it is possible that the consumer will lead true disruption because they will adopt a new way of consuming TV content at scale. Given that fairly heritage ways of watching TV content continue to grow and, let’s face it, satisfy, this would depend on a real swing in technology and, indeed, rights distribution. The second form of disruption will come from a disruption in heritage trading practices. This is long overdue and necessary for longterm growth. For this it would be good to have two developments, please. We are indeed entering a world of big data of all kinds. More and more granular information will be available to give insight into what is and what is not working. What we still don’t have is a single audience rating measurement to feed into modelling, versus sales across media to drive a simple solution to how everything works. The second development is a move towards a shared risk trading model, not as an exception but as a mainstream choice for clients.
First published here on Sue Unerman’s blog