The future of social networks and television distribution channels


Last weekend’s Sunday Telegraph published an article titled Tech to the future that looks at what’s coming next in consumer and social technologies. Unfortunately it isn’t available online, however here are the sections where I was quoted:

Futurist and author Ross Dawson says the next big shifts will pivot around how we connect to other people and “how we share the content of our lives with others. It’s all about the social use of technology.”

Analysts predict that rather than a new Twitter-styled platform emerging, social networks will move towards being meshed or interconnected. They say private and public data will blur together and an advanced version of the social networks of your choice will be your browser of entry point.

Now that we have as a society discovered sharing the content from our lives, the floodgates are open. Interoperability across social networks is evolving slowly, but is what we are coming to expect. Then later in the article:

“This is not the death of the traditional broadcaster,” Dawson says, “ but the role of terrestrial broadcasting of television will significantly decrease as the internet grows as a distribution system.”

“Twitter set up the idea of sharing everything as we go; the next phase will be documented via sharing video.”

“For Australians, the chance in video consumption habits will also be market by the NBN, in allowing IPTV (internet protocol television) to become a reality in most people’s living rooms.”

One of the inexorable shifts in moving image viewing will be in distribution channels. Given the existing investment in broadcasting infrastructure this is not going to disappear in a hurry. But an increasing proportion of video content will be delivered over IP. Much or all of the content currently available on free-to-air will be available over IP, meaning it can be consumed across multiple devices and many situations. Managing that transition is perhaps the most prominent strategic issue of the next five years for TV channels.