Asia-Pacific Broadcasting (APB) August 2016 • Volume 33, Issue 7 - Page 6

6 NEWS & VIEWS August 2016 Discomfort – a stimulus for change ❝To advance, and to engage with an audience, by karl rossiter The technological changes of the past 10 years have been unprecedented, even as broadcasting continues to mutate. Linear is being overtaken by multi-platform and invaded by new offerings and new competitors. Newcomers to the industry have taken advantage of new business models and methodologies and left old baggage and infrastructures behind. Who would ever have thought that our broadcast audience would migrate to the cloud and stream services from smartphones? Change can be cruel, but it can also be a stimulant. The momentum of change leaves broadcasters little alternative but to ride the wave, and hopefully take advantage of it. After all, it is our audience that has driven the thrust towards on-demand, catch-up and high definition, as well as the migration to mobile services and social media interfaces. If the role of a broadcaster is to engage an audience, then broadcasters have to match audience preferences and expectations. This means distribution of tailored content, in multiple formats, for multiple devices. For most of us, the smartphone has become the everyday enabler, combining data, location and payment into a highly tactile and amazingly visual device — the smartphone is providing the ears and eyes of our new audience. The ITU Telecommunications Development Bureau paints an interesting global picture. Worldwide, there are already over seven billion mobile connected subscriber devices; yet the number of people using the Internet is way behind at only 3.2 billion. The uptake of mobile technology, from zero to 7.2 billion units in four decades, is an amazing phenomenon, and one that is not yet mature. Broadcasters need to capitalise on the growth in mobile, as well as the ever expanding opportunities of the Internet. But the Internet age is not a level playing field. Technology has both enabled and disabled ingenuity. It has enabled those on the front foot, but perhaps disadvantaged those short of resources. For those innovators who could afford to lead, new services, new audiences and new revenues have materialised. But if you were left behind — and that is requires enthusiasm for change, and the upgrading of services to provide exactly what your viewer or listener wants.❞ where so many broadcasters are finding themselves — playing catch-up becomes a real challenge. To advance, and to engage with an audience, requires enthusiasm for change, and the upgrading of services to provide exactly what your viewer or listener wants. It is also an opportunity to select and streamline a business model that introduces the attributes of IP into an infrastructure. A multi-platform approach to broadcasting relies on the adaptability and flexibility of IP within the production workflow, right through to playout. It is IP that enables new service options, and future-proofs s