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Bringing New TV Technologies, Creatives & Developers Together

All of us can agree on one thing – audiovisual entertainment via television has the most impact in delivering a brand message. It’s the backbone of a 200 billion dollar a year global value chain and has been around for over half a century.

What we may not agree on is how brands will be delivering that message in the future, when:

  1. Media stacking (second screen engagement) becomes a norm rather than a niche behaviour.
  2. Ad-skipping is on the rise.
  3. The old model of distribution with broadcasters delivering mass audiences to brands and agencies is over due to audience fragmentation and more niche viewing and more content.

Traditional TV and the Broadcasting world are facing massive disruption in the next five years as new gatekeepers enter the living room… such as CE Manufacturers with Smart TVs, Tech companies like Google, Apple, Microsoft (XbOX), Boxee, Roku etc., and Second Screen engagement and discovery tools such as the Smart Phone and Tablet.

TV is going to change – we know that. It’s just a matter of how and when. Here’s an example of what we see, as possible areas to develop in the future evolution as TV changes over the next decade.

Presently, the global Games industry is worth around $70 billion for 2012. That’s twice the size of the Music industry, twice the size of the book industry, and three times the size of the movie industry. We have Generation G (gamers) who are now in their forties who have grown up engaging with content. Over 100,000 people play along with The Million Pound Drop live on Friday nights in the UK, and over 600,000 downloaded The Voice of Holland out of a population of 16.5 million (in USA terms that would be 11,528,900 second screen engagement downloads for one show).

One should not underestimate how quickly and drastically consumer behaviour can change. Remember when we used to use mobile phones for just calling people? Look what we do with them now? TV will change from what we have known for decades – it’s ripe for it – there’s too much visual ritalin, too many commercials, and, as narrative developments show in the Transmedia world, stories are going to get more complex on TV… as they should in the future. We have been on a long journey from – people screaming at a screening of an oncoming train during the first ever publically shown film – to extremely rich, complex narratives withTransmedia properties such as The Matrix and Avatar today.

I also understand that brands need to fund quality formats via broadcasters for some time into the foreseeable future. But the agencies are going to have to get a lot more creative in how they engage consumers in the future – and the ‘old’ easy way of simply throwing 30 seconds at a public that wants to watch, what they want to watch, when they want to watch it, on any connected device, anywhere they want to watch it, preferably without being interrupted – is a dying proposition.

Branded Content is a solution. Preferably subtle product placement will be another way. Game mechanics with calls to action on a second screen will be a winner. More targeted engagement is undeniably more likely to get attention. Accessorizing works… feel free to give me added value to things I own. Freemium is pretty cool. Micropayments I can live with. Affordable subscriptions for content I really get a kick out of are nice. Let me have the chance to win something. Give me more compelling reasons to like the brands. Let me socialize what I like to my networks. Challenge me. Engage me. Give me some buzz.

Hacking for Good? Hacking for Innovation? Yes, it’s not hacking the Pentagon or MI6… To the contrary – creatives, developers, coders, and entrepreneurs get together, get creative and get to build cool stuff – that’s what a HackFest is all about.

We give them APIs, SDKs and data and challenge them to code/design/engineer/make and break for 48 hours, building their own prototype solutions or ideas.

It’s simple.


Richard Kastelein

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