The Net isn’t the Answer

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The net isn’t the answer
Wednesday, 23 September 2009
ImageBestv head, Giuseppe Flores d’Arcais, has some strong opinions about the situation the broadcast industry currently finds itself in, writes Ian McMurray, and he certainly thinks that the internet is not the answer to its problems.

“Whatever the answer is, it’s not the internet.” So said Giuseppe Flores d’Arcais, co-founder and CEO of Bestv, who has strong opinions about the situation in which the industry finds itself – and what the possible ways forward may or may not be. Bestv offers the Bestv Enhanced Broadcast System, which enables terrestrial and satellite broadcasters to offer a broad range of capabilities including time-shifted TV and VoD, for example, but without changing viewing habits.

It combines time-shift, local storage and bandwidth optimisation technologies to earmark live broadcast for local recording and transmission of additional content assets using low bitrate multiplexing and overnight broadcast capacity.

“To believe otherwise is to misunderstand some of the fundamental realities of what the internet is and does, who uses it and why,” Flores d’Arcais argued. “Of course it has – and will continue to have – a strong impact on media consumption patterns, but many of today’s business models assume a rate of change that seems very unlikely, and that misunderstand basic consumer motivations.

“First,” he continued, “there is a limit to consumers’ interest in choice: beyond a certain point, increased choice actually leads to reduced satisfaction. Second, there is a limit to consumers’ willingness to choose and their desire to interact with their chosen form of entertainment: the passive TV-watching paradigm – the ‘lean back moment’ – is still very much with us.”

Flores d’Acais’ company’s model has broadcasters at its heart: “They possess core assets that give them ideal starting conditions,” he said, noting the power of assembly, a highly efficient delivery network and the ability to produce content as primary among these. He believes that what needs to change is reliance on linear broadcasting and the assumption of simultaneous viewing. Making more and more popular content available on demand is the way forward. This, he said, is what Bestv can do.

For broadcasters, he says, the advantages are threefold: leveraging the value of content assets; making the power of assembly pay; and extracting the value of the delivery network.

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