On "Connected TV": and the condition of content creators
It's very early days with this technology but this is how I see the significance of connected TV (see also my earlier posts for wider context of content creation). It's hard to write about this topic without using some media business jargon (apologies!) - specifically the term "intermediation".
Makers of appliances (in this case manufacturers of televisions, such as Samsung and Phillips) want to sell more TVs for obvious reasons. They also want to diversify their revenue streams by "intermediating" themselves into new chains of content delivery. They will do this by putting apps onto their TVs. These apps will offer content through dedicated TV or "like TV" channels providing films, music etc.
Manufacturers may try to make money by charging carriage fees and certainly will make money through licensing deals. Meanwhile content providers, which will include a new category of specialist "narrowcasters" providing niche services to particular interest communities, for example opera-lovers or bikers, will in theory be able to reach audiences and make money through subscription packages. However in an increasingly fragmented audio-visual market offering 1000s of channels the financial viability of new services will be precarious: some will succeed in the longer term but many will fail (as they have repeatedly failed in the video-on-demand market to date).
"Connected TV" therefore promises a landscape of even greater consumer choice, but we don't know what the economic impact will be.
There is evidence that consumers can't deal with too much choice, or prefer to have less choice, so they gravitate towards trusted brands, which tend to be incumbent TV stations - like Sky or the BBC in the UK, or RAI in Italy. So the overall impact may be less disruptive than some imagine.
The significance of "connected TV", and related digital technologies for content providers is that they are having to work ever harder to get a return on their investment because prices are being driven down. This in turn is impacting negatively on writers, producers and actors, for whom the word "digital" increasingly translates as "less money".
As a private citizen this negative impact is what mainly concerns me now. If we're not careful we shall be left with a world in which only well-off kids and people with private money can afford to be artsists and professional content creators.
This is a huge challenge - for policy-makers, regulators, trade bodies, investors and the creative community alike. I don't think this is sufficiently well understood: it will not be understood until these groups start talking to one another.