RTC dinner on the Future of Television (28 September 2010)

Waiting for Vodot: The imminent Collapse of the video bubble and how it TV will evolve afterwards

Patrick Barwise takes us through the TV evolution. Since around 1990, the digerati have been predicting revolutionary change in the nature of television and how it is consumed. In the 1990s, they predicted that TV viewing would quickly change from being mainly live (off ‘linear’ channels) to mainly asynchronous (online and on-demand) and with viewers interacting with different types of content and with other viewers. TV would disappear as a separate medium, morphing into video content (much of it user-generated) in a kind of converged digital porridge. Traditional TV business models (broadcast advertising and channel subscriptions) would be replaced by one-to-one interactive advertising, pay-per-view, and monthly payments for bandwidth. All this was supposed to happen before or soon after the year 2000.

None of this happened but – true to form – the digerati are now telling us that:

  •   TV viewing has already changed dramatically
  •   No-one predicted the speed and extent of these changes
  •   Even more dramatic changes are imminent.

What is in-store for TV viewers? What does the future hold for TV channels? What are the policy implications? Patrick’s talk and the discussion to follow will cover these questions and lots more. Watch this space!

Patrick Barwise

Patrick is Emeritus Professor of Management and Marketing at London Business School and chair of Which?, the UK’s leading consumer organization. He joined London Business School in 1976 after an early career with IBM and held numerous management roles at LBS. Member of Which? Council 1995-2000 (deputy chair, 1998-2000), 2006- (chair 2010-). Holds a wide range of publications on management, marketing, media, and research methods. His book Simply Better (co-authored with Seán Meehan, IMD, Lausanne) won the American Marketing Association’s 2005 Berry-AMA Book Prize. He is currently working on another book with Seán Meehan (to be published spring 2011) and a research project with Julian Birkinshaw, “Which academic research do managers find useful?” He is Honorary Fellow and member of the President’s Committee, the Marketing Society, member of 2004 Hansard Society (Puttnam) commission on Parliament and the public and fellow of the Sunningdale Institute, a virtual academy on management in central government. His long-term interest is in broadcasting policy. He is also advisory board member and cash investor in two successful start-ups: the online field research company Research Now and the online brand community specialist Verve. In 2004, led an independent government review of the BBC’s digital TV services. He is also an experienced expert witness, having worked on commercial, tax, and competition cases in Brussels, Frankfurt, London, Paris and Washington.