Role of technology in the converging world of entertainment

The $ 2 trillion global media entertainment industry is in a tizzy! The convergence of internet and TV is both disrupting and revolutionizing the media entertainment and broadcasting industry. The internet has disrupted the media in 3 crucial ways-

a)      It grabs a large share of time that in the past was devoted to media

b)      It has removed barriers to distribution, which previously was a key source of revenue for media players

c)       It provides abundant free content that shapes consumer expectations, which can be monetized in innovative ways

Technology has led to consumers taking control of their own viewing, creating personal schedules and using different devices (tablets, phones, computers) to dip into video when and where they want. In this omni-platform world, the internet today is the new remote control, and as a result it is an absolute imperative for TV content to be available on the net. At the same time, increased amount of customer data available through the net allows for a future where television is ubiquitous, integrated, customer focused and contextual.

According to E&Y, three key technology enabled trends will drive the entertainment industry going forward-

  • Omni-platform Programming-  Programming that is fitted for a wide variety of screens- is the future. Research shows that one out of three minutes spent on digital content viewing is done on tablet or phone, and this number is only expected to rise further. Currently television/cinema serves as primary screens, but we are entering a time when size will not matter. All screens will work seamlessly together, and it will be the attention it commands from the viewer which will determine the dominant screen. Viewers increasingly want to be a part of the experience, and viewer expression of control will extend to control of story arc via social media interaction, and synchronization of screens will be key enabler to give viewers a redefined user experience.
  • Content Discovery Optimization – Ubiquity of screens- smartphones, smartglasses, smartwatches will lead to seamless flow of content across home, public places, office and vehicles. Content providers will want to measure engagement across multiple screens and platforms to determine how to optimize experience and advertising placements.  Searching through channels is frustrating, tablets and other wearables will provide intuitive program search and discovery tailored to individual preferences and tastes. Content providers will have to engage in content discovery optimization, similar to today’s search engine optimization, where content is tuned such that it can be discovered by largest audience segment in least possible time.
  • More Creative Risks- New entrants demanding unique content will drive innovation beyond traditional studio system. Amazon and Netflix distribute pilot content that is viewed and rated by customers, depending on which content is continued or stopped. Rise of video on demand liberating more content from studio vaults and will drive bingeing (consumption of back to back content in single sitting) in media. This is driving innovation from driving what media needs to be produced from programming executives to audiences. New relationship models will enable players to take more creative risks. Correspondingly, the impact on systems to track and calculate rights, profits, participation, and revenue realization has become even more complex.


To sum up, there are four distinct sources of power in the industry now- content power (traditional media broadcasters), service power (telecom companies who act as single point of contact and the user interface between consumers and content guys), device power (manufacturers of devices which access media through multiple gateways) and cloud power (cloud infrastructure players providing media management and distribution to connected devices). Technology plays a key role in each of these power centers, redefining entertainment as we know it.

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  1. Gaian

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