We dive deep into the darkness of human nature, as the USA’s sordid shopping phenomena Black Friday’s creeps into Europe. Even here in sleepy Switzerland all manner of marketeers jumped on the expression ‘Black Friday’, from food to electronics it seemed nothing was sacrosanct. It has become a disproportionate gluttony fest the day after ‘Thanksgiving’ where the phrase, ‘For what we are about to receive may the Lord make us truly thankful’ is ultimately belittled.
The scenes witnessed in the UK are a sad indictment of European retail and a very distressing view on society itself. We have traditional sales periods in Europe (that vary by country) with bargains galore to enjoy. Shopping the ‘sales’ is a way to cost effectively smarten your wardrobe or get some gadget that is just a little out of your price range. It is also a lottery as not everything is on sale and if you are an S or XXL then you are generally well catered for in the clothes arena.
Unfortunately it looks like that has all been tarnished with people now wresting people to the ground in rucks similar to those of the autumn rugby internationals. Punters punching each other out for a bargain that appears to be related, in the main, to electronic devices. Maniacal shopers grappling with each other in scenes aking to starving refugees at the back of a UN Aid truck. It is abhorrent!
Call me old-fashioned but I would rather hear about White Christmas rather than Black Friday. I hanker for the good-ol-days when people were more civilised not just on Black Friday but also – on the street, in their cars and on public transport.
A shout out to my good friend Colin Dixson at nScreenmedia for this report on Live TV – worth reading.
Figures from Freeview show that the free to air networks continued to dominate Australian viewing throughout in 2013
FTA TV last year reached a daily audience of 15.2 million Australians. It also once again attracted by far the biggest proportion of overall television viewing, with free to air TV capturing an 83 per cent share of the prime time metropolitan audience during 2013.
In terms of time spent watching TV, Australians watched more than three hours of live TV every day last year. Time-shifted viewing remained popular in 2013, with Australians recording more of their favourite free to air shows to watch later. Alongside live viewing, 8.6 per cent of viewers time shifted programmes.
“Once again free to air has remained the television destination of choice for the overwhelming majority of Australians in 2013,” Freeview General Manager, Liz Ross, said. “Viewers are more engaged than ever with free to air TV.”
I have to bring this back into the limelight because all you youngsters out there that want ‘a la carte’ and all OTT as in, ‘what you want when you want where you want’ need to know what that means in terms of revenue and the financing of content. Despite the age of this post it is still relevant today.
The marriage of many parties in the Interactive TV systems has always been the Achilles heel for a fully integrated homogenous interactive environment. We have had other pre-2nd screen (i.e. 2nd-Window) systems since the 1990s that have suffered from the same issues described in this rather oldish article: (considering Zeebox has already walked into the sunset) http://edit.hollywoodreporter.com/behind-screen/zeebox-s-anthony-rose-people-589252 – However it is worth some reflection:
Programme/TV Show/Film producers (Pre-Production and Post Production) are still unable to have a “write-once” for a “read-anywhere” business plan due to competing (proprietary/standardised) technologies that are all designed for the same job of Value Added Services. There were and still are proprietary and standardised CMS systems available but that still did not answer the age old problem of incompatibility across broadcasters, operators selection of technology in the global TV eco-systems. The DVB Consortium made something that tried to answer this early on with something called DVB-PCF (Transcoding across different VAS systems) which the BBC worked heavily on. It never saw the light of day.
Therefore creating and franchising a show using a SocialTV / Companion Screen technology and single back-office system is seen as a pre-requisite in the conquering of this Value Added Service arena. The Show the Voice in Holland was successful using Social TV but this cannot be sold as a package into Belgium for example for techno-political-business reasons.
2nd Screen technology technology fragmentation is the same issue as in ALL previous Interactive TV middleware issues. Then add to this new Non-TV technologies (i.e. designed for the Internet all trying to latch on to the TV eco-system). Fit-For-Purpose is an issue that also dogs the TV eco-system. Different Social TV and Companion Screen offerings now numbers in their 30s with Civolution, Egonocast, Shazam, WyWy etc. integrating on-screen, 2nd-window, off-programme and full dual-screen synchronisation.
There are lots of other things that are around in the new world of TV Tech – the failed 3DTV and now UHDTV and 4K etc. that are at least keeping us occupied.
I presented at the #screen4allforum this week on the subject of ‘The Future of Television and User Interfaces’. There was a mixed bag of panellists on a variety of sessions at this rather unusual academic style event held in Paris. I found that the ‘production and creative side of the business’ much more open to discussing real issues and tricks of the trade; including opening up about their real life experiences in their respective sectors. You could tell by the audience participation that this was seen as interesting by the amount of questions thrown at them.
However, a large percentage of the ‘TV technologists’, especially on the panel on which I participated, insisted on doing their ‘Corporate Sales Pitch’ as if the audience was full of potential ‘buyers’ of TV everywhere, specific flavoured user-interfaces and middleware.
The audience present, I imagine, expected to hear about the ‘future of television interfaces’. They were there, I imagine, to understand where and how their TV shows might be accessed, displayed and how the consumer of the future might interact with the TV. This was ever so lightly covered by what had been deployed TODAY and where it was deployed TODAY, as if this was the answer to today’s complex world of and the future of television interfaces.
Quite frankly at these kind of events the audiences do not come to hear and see ‘glammed-up’ product pitches, corporate videos and sales promotion. Our industry is soooo guilty of this right across the board, in all the conferences that I attend. I know that people don’t like hearing this particular truth about this aspect of seminars and forums, but it is true. I am sorry if I am accusing people, but it remains a very true fact that we see, all too many times, the Corporate Sales Pitch and absolutely no real discussion and no real ‘thought leadership’ on the topic in hand.
When you only have roughly 10 minutes and that is taken up with who you are and what you sell, dont you think this is not just a little sad and desperate. The session always ‘runs out of time’ and the audience has no time for questions nor are they inspired to ask any.
I go back to the title Thought Leadership … which is what we were supposed to deliver in order to be interesting, informative and in-line with the subject. This is going to get much more kudos I would have thought … Or am I perhaps just being a little naive in expecting more from these very clever people? I am very saddened by the Corporate Sales Pitches approach from almost all of my peers in the television technology sector, however I know for a fact that it will not change, even if highlighted to the the world or my 1/2 dozen readers ;-).