Just under a year ago (three days under a year ago in fact) I wrote a blog post with the title ‘My Media Tips for 2008‘. As we’re now approaching the end of 2008 I thought it might be worth looking back.
So lets work our way through the original post, pointing out what I got wrong, what I got right and what I wouldn’t right now even on the bleakest of motivation days.
My Media Tips for 2008
Paragraphs from the original blog post are in quote boxes and my comments are directly below them. I’ll try to post a few tips for 2009 while I’m at it.
I think 2008 is going to be the Time-Shift year. I know people have been time-shifting for ages but this is the year it will get a LOT easier.
Well I hit that one pretty squarly on the nose – although to be honest even a monkey living in a remote part of the remotest island on the earth could probably have predicted that.
The BBC iPlayer has launched as a streaming service – complete with heavy promotion and people seem to be finding it fairly easy to use – ITV will probably heavily advertise ITV.com now as well and I’m hoping Channel 4 will drop the application and offer streamed shows through their website.
Well the iPlayer went from stregnth to stregnth, improved streaming quality and became the gold standard in on demand video – it also became properly mainstream.
ITV did indeed increase publicity of itv.com but not to a massive extent until the end of the year when they rebranded it ITV Player – expect a lot more from ITV in 2009 (god I sound like Mystic Meg).
Oh and Channel 4 dropped the 4OD application (OK they didn’t really drop it but it did become less important) and did introduce streaming video on demand through the website.
More of this in 2009 and hopefully a move to flash or at least silverlight streaming from Channel 4 and ITV – moving away from Windows Media. You never know – if the BBC Air Desktop App works out we may see ITV and Channel 4 versions of that.
iPlayer will also be launching through Cable and IPTV companies this year – BT and Virgin will be offering iPlayer shows over the air which will bring it to the attention of even more people.
Well iPlayer DID launch on Virgin and it seems to work pretty well (although I haven’t really tried it), it also launched on the iPhone, the Wii, PS3 and a selection of mobile devices (although if you have the Skyfire browser you can use it on almost any Windows Mobile device).
iPlayer will also be launched on BT soon and I predict that at some point in 2009 we’ll see the iPlayer on Apple TV (or equivalent) devices and on specially designed Freesat boxes.
We’re probably going to find out more about Kangaroo – the commercial version of iPlayer, ITV.com and 4OD combined. And I’ll carry on using SKY+ to avoid adverts.
It has been an interesting year for Project Kangaroo – a new chief who left for Microsoft, an anti-competive review, a whole host of complaints, a very limited beta launch and new start date in sight.
Oh and I’ve had to hand over control of Sky+ to my wife who regularly fills it with soaps, reality TV and other wonderful examples of programming excellence.
I now almost exclusively watch television through my computer – either live (using Zattoo, Livestation or the broadcasters own websites) or on demand.
But this will probably also be a year of more creative forms of advertising – as more people time-shift the pressure will be put on OfCom to allow commercial broadcasters to advertise in other ways – such as in vision adverts, product placements and fewer adverts shown more frequently during a show.
OfCom seem to be moving in this direction ualthoughgh we didn’t really see the launch of this in 2008 – I expect that won’t really start to come into force until 2010.
Although, after recent codes of conduct have been agreed on – we may well see paid for product placement introduced in selected shows in 2009.
I also think we’ll see podcasts grow in popularity, especially video podcasts with the increasing popularity of the iPod Nano (video).
Podcasts did grow in popularity but not nearly to the extent I expected them to – although an interesting trend of ‘talent’ producing their own shows did take off in 2008.
The BBC Trust will probably allow the BBC to publish video podcasts which will probably take the form of cut-down versions of TV shows they own the full rights to (Top Gear, Newsnight etc).
This will then prompt the commercial to up their game and start offering more video podcasts of their shows – maybe with embedded adverts to cover costs and make money.
Well I go this one wrong – I’m not even sure the BBC put video podcasts to the trust in 2008 – but it probably will come 2009 – either that or a deal with be struck with Apple to allow downloads of DRMd BBC video shows to the iPod (maybe with the licencing of Fairplay) that could be pulled in like a podcast thanks to RSS feeds.
However video podcasts DID become more popular in 2008 with the introducing of the iTunes Video Podcast section, an increasing number of original indie video podcast production companies (Rev3, ChannelFlip) and more commercial companies getting on board (Sky News, HBO).
I also think we’ll see a lot of fuss made over home grown children’s television in 2008 – money will be made available to the commercial operators to produce children’s television here in the UK and to develop British ideas.
There was a lot of fuss made over Childrens television, of regional news and of public service content as a whole – including a lot of talk about how to fund it.
As yet no real decision has been made but I expect something will happen on this in 2009 (whether it is actual money available or the promise of money at a set point in the future).
The money will either come from free spectrum or services for the commercial operators, a portion of the license fee, tax money or some other magical pot – but it will come.
There will also be talk, off the back of Australia planning to filter ‘unsavoury’ websites at ISP level, of the UK doing the same thing and of regulation of the internet as major UK broadcasters use it more.
There was a lot of talk but it never really made the mainstream forums – but that doesn’t mean it won’t next year – however I think it will be at European level as I don’t think there is stomach or desire for internet regulation in the UK.
Oh and a couple of quickies for 2009 – I think digital radio will be a big story, I think digital switchover will be a big story and also the decline of the newspaper industry.
What are your 2009 tips?