According to consultancy firm EY, for almost a century, the UK television industry has been transforming and renewing itself continually to meet ongoing shifts in technology, demand and society. But today, the forces at play are so disruptive they may throw into doubt the very notion of ‘television’ as a distinct medium. Speaking at the Edinburgh TV Festival, the firm, a major sponsor at the event, warns broadcasters to drive fundamental operational changes in order to be prepare for the future.
“Broadcasters need to do more than react to today’s challenges,” advises Martin Holyoake, EY Media & Entertainment Partner. “Audiences are increasingly assuming the role of editor over their own media choices — and the implications that this shift brings is significant for the way content is sourced, produced, distributed and consumed.”
“Put simply, there’s never been a more exciting time to be in the UK television industry, or a more uncertain one. An ever-expanding array of channels, platforms, devices, experiences and choice has created a world where the viewer is firmly in control. For the industry, such an unprecedented state of flux inevitably creates a mix of risk and opportunity – giving rise to uncertainty and excitement in equal measure,” he suggests.
EY proposes five steps for broadcasters to prepare for the future of TV:
Major generational and behavioural shifts – enabled by technology – have created new consumption patterns as audiences are freed from traditional viewing constraints. From a consumer’s point of view, a provider’s ability to deliver a seamless, personalised user experience is a fundamental differentiator. And for providers themselves, it is a way to add value to the audience and ultimately retain viewers. A personalised experience demands a firm grasp of data – specifically data needs to be aggregated to create a single, unified view of each member of the audience, the availability of data needs to be democratised so that it is no longer housed within the marketing department and reporting needs to be shift from retrospective to future predictions.