Evolution Shift
A Future Look at Today
January 17th, 2007

A Television Convention

This is the second week in a row of attending an important convention in Las Vegas. Last week was the largest consumer electronic convention, CES.  This week a Television convention that is in its forty-fourth year and which, for the past two decades has been very important and influential, NATPE..  Last week a convention about the screens, this week a convention about delivery methods and the content. 

The way forward can bee seen, at least in the realm of media and its consumption and how our lives have changed, by looking at these two conventions.  My thoughts on the CES show were in this post and this one.  Clearly technology and connectivity is allowing us to consume content and access information in new and transformative ways.

A look at NATPE clearly shows how much the world has changed.  Ten years ago this conference was all about Television.  Programming , scheduling, new TV technology, governmental issues and International deal making were the topics at the conference sessions.  This year there are some sixty different sessions, speeches and panels.  A quick look at the subject matter reveals the huge changes in the industry.  There are some 15 sessions on the subject of mobile, 12 sessions on ‘multi-platforms’ 10 sessions on the Internet or IPTV and 5 on the technology of distribution across the new media landscape.  Simply put, more than two thirds of all sessions were about subjects other than the traditional television business.  Ten years ago ninety-five percent of the sessions were about the traditional television business.

The world of separate and different media has been blown up.  It is all merging.  As loyal readers of this blog know, I have written a great deal about disintermediation and the way this force transforms industries and markets.  Well this is a true example of that.    The interesting thing however is that it seems that the cliché “content is king” is more true that ever.  In an always on world of media consumption, content becomes even more important.  People are watching television shows, but not always on television sets.  If you look at YouTube there is as much content lifted from television shows as all the original user generated content.

The issue is how to monetize or get paid for all this content.  Even that conversation has new language.  Instead of distribution windows and market syndication we are talking about ‘platforming’; how to move this content across all the platforms that are now available.   How does content need to change in shape, form and length to fit these new platforms?  How will people consume content on the different platforms?  What is the role of advertising?  These are all the questions that the television industry is solving as it goes forward into a new world.

 The media world, and of course the world in general, is being transformed.  Transformation is a word that Jack Myers, perhaps the smartest visionary in the media and advertising space used the other day in a newsletter piece entitled “Transformation! 2007 -2008”( that can be found next week at www.mediavillage.com ).

To paraphrase the ancient Chinese saying: “May you live in transformative times”.  The people in the television business certainly are.

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