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Last Updated: Monday, 27 November 2006, 06:09 GMT
Future of TV: The research analyst
Benjamin Lehmann is an analyst for Jupiter Research, specialising in content and programming in Europe.

How will we be watching TV in 10 years?

TV consumption and internet consumption are growing. Meanwhile, you've got broadband penetration reaching critical mass and a growing number of consumers watching video over the internet.

So the internet really now provides a feasible way to watch broadcast quality content for a growing audience who are spending more and more time online. And there's no question that it can't be ignored.

But there's no evidence that it will replace TV. The idea that even in the next 10 years things are going to change drastically is probably flawed. It's going to be a slow and gradual change as new media emerge.

Which TV platforms to you expect to do well?

We forecast IPTV [Internet protocol TV - TV services sent via broadband] to grow at a slow rate and to achieve only niche penetration in Europe between now and 2011.

We forecast that in 2011, IPTV will have penetrated 6% of European households, up from 2% in 2006. In 2011, we believe digital terrestrial television will reach 33% of the population, digital satellite will reach 32% and digital cable will reach 24%.

So we expect IPTV to be very much a niche product. The advantages it offers, like on-demand and time-shifting, aren't high on the agendas of European consumers.

What does the future hold for the traditional TV channel?

Those channels will have to compete against a greater number of other channels for their audience. But the way the landscape is changing, there are more opportunities for the existing channels than threats.

It presents opportunities to create tie-ups between online offerings and traditional broadcast offerings, to migrate users from one to the other and to engage them across the different media.

Will TV programmes be changed by how we watch them?

Both internet delivery of video, and other platforms, like mobile TV, present new opportunities to reach consumers in new times and places.

The internet provides a way into the office, which is obviously a very lucrative and compelling audience for the existing channels to pursue. Similarly, mobile TV is a good opportunity to snack on content between work and home and so on.

But with both of those, the content needs to be optimised. New content formats need to be developed. We've seen that the big numbers in terms of internet video have been for short-form content. Similarly with mobile TV, the majority of content that people are watching is short-form, made-for-mobile. So whatever happens, it's a question of taking advantage of the different features of these new media that are emerging.

What role will user-generated video play in mainstream viewing?

The growing number of channels and ways of reaching the audience will mean a greater amount of content needs to be created.

There's a real challenge for the content owners to fill these slots and user-generated content is great in that respect. It's currently cheap and there are a growing number of consumers who are willing to contribute online, so user-generated content is going to become more and more important.




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