– By Brice Le Blevennec –
Online television, it’s the next great battle. Already today, it’s making the minds of many race.
Announced some fifteen years ago already, the infamous convergence between Internet and TV is becoming a reality today. By the end of the year, the major TV manufacturers (Sony, LG, Samsung …) prepare to flood the market with machines permanently connected to the web. For their part, telecom operators also prepare the merger between the two media.
As you read this, Mobistar launched its platform close to the Apple AppStore, which adds features such as Facebook, Twitter and Flickr to the electronic program guide. And major players in the video game market like Microsoft and Sony have never hidden their dream to transform their respective consoles as privileged centers of all forms of digital entertainment.
Always online, television of tomorrow will also be mobile. Smart phones, tablets, laptops: the images begin to appear on all screens, a trend that will profoundly transform the way we consume television. Telenet launched Yelo, an application that allows you to watch (via wifi) a selection of channels on your iPad. Mobistar makes the same move, with 3G customers gaining access to a variety of broadcasters through an iPad/ iPhone application. And Belgacom launched its mobile platform as well mobile in June. So in short, welcome to television “AnyWhere, AnyTime, AnyDevice”, freed from the living room and dictated by the ceremonies linked to the schedule of TV programs.
A concept that we experimented with at Emakina in 2006 with VW EscapeTV, the first TV show that could be viewed via download on any mobile device.
American startups are already a step further and want to use mobile to combine the power of television with that of social networks. They are called IntoNow, Yap.tv, Miso, Philo, GetGlue … Some have already been bought up by large US “networks” or receive the support of Internet giants (eg Miso is financed by Google Ventures).
Closer to home, the WizzChat application for the iPhone focuses on European channels and allows you to specify the TV program you are watching, share that information on Facebook and chat live with other users.
The beginnings of this trend arrived in 2008, during the U.S. elections. For the first time, televised debates did not stop at the end of the TV show; they continued on social networks. These social media became the natural ‘fora’ for comments and discussions between the viewers.
Mobile further accelerates this change: a study by Nielsen and Yahoo made last year, indicates that 86% of mobile Internet users use their mobile device to talk live about a TV broadcast while they’re looking on their on their small frame.
Connected, mobile and social: these are the three attributes of the television of the future.
For advertisers, the consequence of these many changes is that the consumer’s attention is more fragmented than ever. Besides airing a 30-second TV spot, it will now necessary to be present at the same time on the major social platforms, if you want to activate your brand by covering its entire target group.
For broadcasters, this “Television 2.0” will also be a new, very different playing field. Regardless of the “format”, TV will have to be considered as an ongoing conversation with the audience, where both of these media mutually benefit from these interactions. Even if it was an abysmal idiocy, “Carré Viiip”, the already deceased reality TV show on TF1, was a fine illustration of this coagulation between two media: when the show ended, social networks took over and were used to generate content that was part of the next part of the competition.