So we all know that PVRs/DVRs (TiVo, Sky+) owners watch less TV. In fact this has been the main theme of one of the most heated debate in the US TV industry in the past week- Cable Vision’s network DVRs and how they would lead to mass errosion of ads viewership. (For more details on this, please click on:

But guess what, in a recent UK based research it showed that PVR/DVR owners watch 5% more advertising. According to the research, the increased TV viewing offsets the potential to fast-forward through the commercials. I wonder if it is today’s reality confronting yesterday’s myth, or a myth in the making itself.

I think some of this can be attributed to the UK’s commercial environment in media. There is a regulation on the amount of advertising that can be shown per hour, and the “irritation” or “fatigue” levels of TV ads are generally lower in the UK. This is compared to the markets like the US where during a live-broadcast of a major sporting event, they stop play to give time to the insane clutter of advertising to be shown to the consumers. If I were them, sitting pretty without the knowledge of how long a damn commercial break is going to be, I would skip ads… wouldn’t you?

Another interesting insight from the same study is that the likes of IPlayer, C4OD, or have not eroded the traditional TV viewership. The web-based viewing actually leads to more time being spent infront of the traditional TV. The overall audiences have actually increased by 4% over the same period last year.

Now we all know that increase in supply of content leads to a very limited the increase in advertising revenues- that only very initially. The real increase is only tied to delivery of audiences. Ultimately the increased content leads to fragmentation of advertising revenue into showing of ever more number of commercials. According to this study, a total of 2.4 billion commercials are shown every day, or a massive potential of commercial vieweing of 42 per person!

Happy planning your TV! If I were you, I would invest in high potential and growing area of web-based TV viewing (mind you that is almost on the traditional TV screens now with Wii’s Iplayer, and XBox 360’s BT Vision), while being careful about not losing audiences through the good old idiot box.


Geo-tagged content

August 12, 2008

The term “collaborative productions” is perhaps en-route to take over the hype of user-generated content. Not to suggest that the pure user generated content would completely lose its appeal, but I think the productions of the modern day TV world are set to take that element of a viewer or user’s ability to generate content to the next level. Reality TV such as Pop Idol and Big Brother are examples of such collaborative content anyway. But here is a completely retro twist to this!

For their upcoming album “Brotherhood”, Chemical Brothers have asked fans to submit short video clips of 2 to 20 seconds, or photographs that celebrate “insanity that goes on at the stoke of midnitght”. They would use this content to create a montage video with footage from around the world, except, this footage would be “geo-tagged”. The footage is to be submitted to Google Earth via the chemical brothers’ website, and all the submitted clips would be shown on Google Earth and Youtube channels on September the 1st. Can you get more collaborative, high-tech, and global than that in production in this day and age?

Not entirely a collaborative production, but here is another piece of content that BBC recently produced called Britain from Above. The producers used all sorts of technology to show a different view to “Britain”. There is perhaps all of us living in the UK in this programme somewhere! Go spot yourself!

What’s in a box?

August 6, 2008

If the internet TV, or broadcast over IP is such a rage, and if YouTube is all we think the future of content has to offer, have you ever wondered why TV sets manufacturers are not responding to the change and giving their idiot boxes a bit of a smart “processing power”?

I have been personally trying to look for news that might tell me that one or two TV sets manufacturers are going to add features. Fucntions such as a Wifi connection, ability to perform certain tasks such as a calendar, or a task-list or even a contacts book etc. Afterall if home PCs are the order of the day, and if the PCs of today are turning into TVs of tomorrow, why cant TVs of today be PCs of tomorrow?

Well my prayers were answered and someone thought of making the box a bit more smarter than putting just a hard-drive in it for recording of programmes (LG etc). Toshiba recently announced the arrival of TV sets in early 2009, that will have built-in applications which will allow the viewers to connect to the internet via Wifi. Toshiba are also actively talking to application builders to develop widgets for this TV sets.

I wonder what would those applications be… would their environment be “open”- i.e. allowing others to build applications? What luxury! Would I not want to “poke or ping” some of my friends while watching “All about Pamela Anderson” on late night tv? Could social media be truly integrated into the TV technology if that happens? Via a 3-way marriage of your social networking site, a widget that allows you to connect your TV to the internet, and then the sharing (or at least recommendation of) of the conventional “TV listings ” or even the on-demand content with your friends? A bit like what Joost tried to do but failed miserably… but they failed because they had the application, but didnt have the content or the community. What if my status on Facebook, one day, automatically reads “Asad is watching the BBC news at Ten”…

It is all very exciting anyway. I shall wait for such TVs to come out. I want my next HD TV to have a built-in PVR, a Wifi Connection, and an application that will play my DivX files- remotely from my Mac or PC!