Gartner Says Future of TV Will Require Channel Integration

(PresseBox) (Egham, UK, ) With the internet transforming the way individuals watch and share video content, TV producers must embrace the internet to avoid losing control of their content, audiences and advertising revenue, according to Gartner, Inc. As a result, TV producers must integrate new channels such as social networks to enhance audience engagement, interaction and maximise reach.

"The TV industry has traditionally seen the internet as a threat and is grappling with the issues that it raises," said Adam Daum, research vice-president at Gartner. "TV producers have been concerned over content piracy and a shift in consumption from professional to consumer generated content. They are also faced with a loss of time-share to social networks such as MySpace and Bebo, particularly among young people, and they face a potential loss of advertising revenue to online video."

With consumers' desire to watch video online showing no sign of abating, the choice of content and locations proliferating, the TV industry has no other choice than to embrace the internet as an opportunity.

Gartner said the distribution of TV content over the internet provides many benefits to TV producers. For example:
- It increases word-of-mouth marketing (WOM) and enables viral distribution of previews and other shareable clips.
- It fosters audience engagement and involvement within social networks and virtual worlds as users can interact with fictional characters.
- It offers the TV industry the ability to pilot, support and enhance new TV formats, to help test, improve storylines and reach a worldwide audience.
- It can also provide a second life to niche content, which normally airs on minor channels at an unsocial hour and receives a small audience and gets forgotten.

In shifting its attention to the internet, the TV industry recognises that it must optimise the user experience at its own site to make it a compelling destination, making content findable, with great audio and video quality and containing non-intrusive and relevant advertising. However, it also needs to use syndication to maximise reach.

"TV producers need to go a step further and integrate these new channels," Mr Daum said. "Today, the 'TV show' is still seen as the product, and the internet is perceived as providing a series of opportunistic ways to enhance the traditional business built around that product. In the future, the TV industry needs to regard the internet as an integral part of the product. The product will be a 'storytelling experience', which will be delivered through a combination of TV shows, social networks, mobile phones and virtual worlds. That is, the story needs to be commissioned as a multi-channel experience, rather than as a TV show."

Additional information on the future of TV is available in the report "The Future of Television Will Require Channel Integration." The report is available on Gartner's Web site at http://www.gartner.com/...

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