Media Watch: The dynamic nature of the video market

1:41 PM, 3 March 2014

If we have learned anything about audiences, it is that the two key drivers of behavioural change are; content (think of when rugby arrived on Sky) and functionality (only a minority want to fiddle around linking computer devices to TVs).

Content is critical, and many would argue that the lack of diversity and content in the New Zealand internet television market is one of the things stalling uptake of ultra-fast broadband. InternetNZ chief executive Jordan Carter commented, "as long as ShowMeTV can get access to a wide range of top shows and movies that we want to watch, the outcome will be a sharp increase in pressure on Sky to lift its game for internet availability of its content - hopefully including the holy grail of live sports broadcasts. If that happens, Kiwis will be the winners".

In terms of functionality, ShowMeTV will be running through your browser rather than a set-top box. Fine for laptop or tablet users (and those prepared to bother linking these devices to their TVs,) but recent UK research shows that while viewers may be changing their habits with video-on-demand and time-shifted viewing, the television screen continues to provide the best viewing experience.

According to data compiled by the Broadcasters' Audience Research Board (BARB), the vast majority (98.5%) of British TV viewers said that they continue to prefer watching programmes on a television set as opposed to other mediums. So will this limit audiences until such time as internet capable televisions have greater market penetration?

Video-on-demand, (whether free or subscriber based) will further dilute current broadcast audiences, but the pace this will happen will ultimately be determined by content and ease of access (as well as overall value.) This will be an interesting space to watch.

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