The debate: What is the most disruptive technology affecting broadcasting?

A panel of experts debate what the most disruptive technology will be for broadcasting.

Suranga Chandratillake, founder and CEO, blinkxSuranga Chandratillake
Chief strategy officer, Blinkx

The era where traditional TV is the unilateral king is fast coming to the end, primarily due to the exponential growth of online video. While the technology is not new, online video is by far the most disruptive technology affecting broadcasting today.

 It has impacted the way viewers consume content – not only how, but where and when they watch shows or videos. Due to the proliferation of devices, viewers can access content at any time, at any location, on the device of their choosing, so eyeballs are rarely giving their full attention to traditional platforms like TV.

With traffic to sites such as blinkx, YouTube and Facebook growing every day, and video shared more than any other medium by consumers, it’s clear to see who’s stealing the limelight. What’s more, online video provides consumers with more choice and more flexibility. The web hosts a variety of content that traditional broadcasters could never compete with, be it snackable three-minute videos on the bus ride home or exclusive, online shows streamed straight to your iPad.

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VP, EMEA, Ooyala

IPTV, VOD, live streaming and other forms of online video are growing at an astonishing rate and have totally changed the way viewers consume TV. For media companies and brand owners the most disruptive aspect of online video is analytics.

The days of the schedule driving viewing habits are already long gone. The growth of online video will see television companies use big data analytics to tailor programming to each individual viewer, based on the device used, the time of day, and many other factors.

Better analytics will mean more efficient revenue models that optimise ad load, ensure viewers only see relevant ads, enable greater tailoring of subscription bundles, and drive alternative rights windowing strategies.

Ooyala customers are already experiencing the impressive ROI delivered by online video analytics and the personalisation it enables (for more information, see the recent IDC study showing nearly 500 per cent average ROI). 2014 will see many more leading TV companies adopt these tactics.    

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Henrik EklundHenrik Eklund
CEO, Rivinet AB

The days of cost-cutting are over, but sadly not in the sense of “happy days are here again”. The broadcast industry has been in a transitional phase for quite some time now. While this does not necessarily mean that 2014 will be the year
of collapse for broadcasting as was 2001 for the music industry and 2008 for newspapers, the inevitable decline is drawing nearer.

I wouldn’t be surprised if we see more private, as well as public service broadcasters across Europe, shutting down. It will be an eye-opener and the industry as a whole will need to fully understand that cost-cutting is not enough
and realise that re-engineering and innovation is the only way forward.

Innovative ways of charging for content and associating brands with audiences via content and distribution will be the key challenges. Perhaps 2014 will bring something that truly disrupts the traditional model.

Tima_Alla SalehianAlla Salehian
Founder and CEO, TIMA Ltd

New technology has given rise to the citizen journalist but the real impact on traditional broadcasting has been the ability of the public to access real-time news information and distribute content they, and their social network, want to consume and feel is relevant to them. Broadcasters have been slow to realise that this is the beginning of the end of traditional news production, where the editor of the day sets the agenda.

They have, on the whole, stopped providing depth and analysis to a story or event in favour of headline and breaking news reporting which is fast becoming the domain of Twitter and Facebook.

The challenge facing broadcasters is how to refocus on the quality and relevance of their content and how to change their workflows with a view to targeting smaller but more engaged segments of the audience through the new and emerging distribution channels.


IABM Annual Conference 2012 WindsorJohn Ive
Director of business development & technology, IABM

Broadcasting has many traditions to be proud of, with many deriving from the differences between other technology applications. A case in point is how challenging it is for broadcast engineers to produce and manage TV programming. They have responded by developing unique, expensive technical equipment for a small industry compared with IT and telecoms.

That is set to change as IT technology, based upon networking and Internet Protocol (IP), rises to the challenge and provides solutions using commodity-priced components and systems. Not only does this provide a more flexible software-based environment with expanded creative opportunities, but video production and consumption become available to a wider market. This is of particular importance – with video usage set to grow dramatically, production is becoming more accessible with smaller budgets and for consumers, video is now available on a multitude of devices.

It’s a big culture shock for the industry, but IT and IP technologies hold tremendous future potential.