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The Only TV Channel I'll be Watching, is Mine

TelecomTV has made their video available online for several panel discussions that were recorded at the recent IBC show (free site registration is required to view videos).

There's a common theme that comes through all the shared perspectives from the panel members -- that is, the denial that when consumers have a multitude of choices, program viewing habits change dramatically, and younger consumers have very different expectations than their older counterparts. Meaning, this is not business as usual.

Regardless, traditional equipment vendors, network broadcasters, communications service providers and content creators still talk in terms of how to 'maintain control', while realigning their current status quo, and making sure that their 'channels' are watched by those eager 'average' consumers.

It's as though they have read the market research, they say they understand the implications, but when asked how they will now react -- the response typically assumes that minor tweaks and adjustments to existing business models and approaches should be 'good enough' to migrate to these new platforms.

However, they don't mean good enough to meet the shifting and evolving demand from a broad variety of consumer segments with differing needs -- no, they mean good enough to realign the legacy status quo (whatever that is, from their individual point of view).

Here's the huge risk within those assumptions. The MySpace connected, and YouTube exposed, informed younger consumer will have little demand for offers created by these fossils of the legacy media era. I wonder if the leaders in these companies see the apparent generational disconnect, and simply choose not to change? Or, is it that they are unknowingly moving away from trying to appeal to younger consumers?

Either way, I predict that eventually the only TV channel that anyone will likely want to watch will be aggregated from an eclectic list of content that constantly changes and evolves. Moreover, the only channel guide that anyone will likely consider using will be one that's customised by ongoing updates from their personal (one-per-viewer, not per household) multimedia content suggestion engine.

In future, we will not be ranking entertainment offerings by the quantity of pre-programmed channel line-ups that are compiled for some elusive 'average' consumer. Offers to switch entertainment service providers will be measured by the quality and intuitive nature of the content suggestion methodology -- an automated content scout (applying policies guided by our interest and lifestyle attributes).

My advise to those who wish to sell us digital media entertainment offerings. Show us how your offering can give serendipity a helping hand. Worry less about your control, and worry more about how you will help us discover compelling and engaging content that we never knew existed, from sources that we've probably never heard of before.

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