Marrying new and traditional Media

Date: Wed, 07/28/2010 - 18:11

Marrying new and traditional Media

Christian S. Nissen, a speaker at the marcus evans Broadcast Evolution Summit 2011, explores the opportunities presented by the new digital broadcasting environment

Interview with: Christian S. Nissen, Adjunct Professor Copenhagen Business School, Former Director General, Danish Broadcasting Corporation & Former Chairman of the EBU Digital Strategy

Many broadcasters have not yet explored all of the possibilities that new media are offering; we are still caught up in the old analogue broadcasting paradigm both in the way we provide the content and in the business models, says Christian S. Nissen, Adjunct Professor Copenhagen Business School, Former Director General, Danish Broadcasting Corporation and Former Chairman of the EBU Digital Strategy. As a speaker at the marcus evans Broadcast Evolution Summit 2011 taking place in France, 17 - 19 January, Nissen shares his vision of the digital broadcasting future and how content providers may take advantage of the opportunities presented by new media. 

What are some of the opportunities presented by the new digital environment? What will be the next big thing?
Christian S. Nissen: There is a shift taking place at the moment, with users going from being passive receivers to being interactive. In this new environment, users have been drawn into the production phase and are providing themselves with the content they want.
There are plenty of opportunities for a wide range of content providers in this interactive environment – new ways of collecting and researching information, and new ways of producing and distributing content. On the consumption side, the Web will allow audiences both to access content from a wide range of sources on any device they have and to distribute their own material.

How should content providers revise their business and technology strategies to make use of these opportunities?
Christian S. Nissen: One must change the whole structure of the production environment. Many broadcasters have not yet used all of the possibilities; they have simply taken away their old analogue equipment and replaced them with digital equipment. The whole organisation must become “digital” - and that as much a change of organisation and competencies as a technological shift.
Traditional television companies are used to addressing a mass audience; we could address millions of viewers just with one programme. In this interactive digital world, consumers are demanding a much more individual service. They no longer see themselves as one amongst a million. In coming years, most media users will demand a mixture of the mass flow channel and individual services you can find on the internet, and so far nobody has managed to do this in an innovative way.

How can content providers generate revenue in the digital environment?
Christian S. Nissen: That is probably one of the biggest challenges. At the moment, revenue for many traditional broadcasters comes through advertisements, and this will soon change. When you leave a mass audience, you also leave advertising clients. Also, it will be more and more difficult to charge users for your content and services, as we have all been accustomed to free of charge services on the Internet.
In the modern world of television, many intermediaries are trying to block the route between the broadcaster and the consumer, using different technologies due to an immense amount of competition. These types of revenue streams are not what we are used to. We know how to produce content, and how to reach consumers, but we do not know how to get revenue out of the new interactive services.

How is the digital world impacting traditional media?
Christian S. Nissen: Every time a new media has arrived on the scene, people get very worried. However, we keep on seeing new media being added on top of existing media, so it is not a threat to traditional media.
Last year in Denmark, there was a higher average television viewing time than ever before. This shows that television is still popular. I do not believe new media will take over old media, but we will have to find better ways of combining the two.

 

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