Adam Crozier has said that the broadcaster must invest in content and technology to capitalise on the “second digital switchover” of web and TV convergence. Speaking at a Morgan Stanley conference the ITV CEO said that the emergence of services such as Google TV and Apple TV was already causing problems for traditional digital TV operators in the US.
In a process often known as “cord cutting”, customers cancel their pay-TV subscriptions in favour of consuming entertainment content from other sources. It is a major worry for American cable operators as it threatens their core subscription businesses.
In the UK, YouView – the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, TalkTalk, BT and Arqiva joint venture – will launch next year to bring video on-demand and Internet services to the subscription-free Freeview and Freesat platforms.
Crozier believes that the emergence of such connected services is the sign of a second phase of the digital switchover, as TV and the Internet start to come together.
“Through YouView and accessing the video on-demand and archive and everything else, it moves it on to an a la carte menu, which is where people can have the majority of their television free and then pay for the things they want,” Crozier said. “For pay platforms that’s quite difficult – the model there is to get people to pay for things you don’t really want to get the things you do.”