The Mint Blog
The countdown to 2Screen 2011 is almost over. Our sell-out event will be kicking off at 6.30pm tonight with awesome speakers, an exceptionally good-looking audience, booze, nibbles and good times galore. You can follow our #2Screen hashtag to keep up with the excitement. We love it when a plan comes together.
Over the last couple of days I’ve been exploring the lay of the land with a look at how content creators are approaching connected TV and an overview of what the new levels of audience data will mean for the industry.
But I’ve saved what is perhaps the trickiest area for last. Over to Google’s Eric Schmidt again - speaking at this year’s MacTaggart lecture - for a quick introduction:
“Now we’re riding a second, much bigger, wave of interactivity. It’s a convergence of TV and Internet screens. This time the interaction isn’t happening via your red button - it’s on the web through your laptop, tablet or mobile. But most important of all, this time it’s social.”
It’s interesting to explore how the data that comes out of internet-connected TV and second screen apps is going to affect our viewing experiences in the future. TV commissioning today is still in thrall of the dreaded ‘overnights’, sourced from a supposedly representative slice of the population. It’s that BARB data that determines whether a show survives or disappears.
What will happen when broadcasters can access the huge amounts of data that will emerge from an audience watching on web-enabled TVs? Everything will be measurable: how many of us are on Facebook while we watch X-Factor? What programmes are viewers switching to after Downton Abbey? How many are actually watching, and engaging, with the ad breaks? This kind of audience access is unprecedented, and the minutiae of programme analytics will be pored over by commissioners, much as it already is by web entrepreneurs. How will that affect decision-making, and scheduling?
Two screen, three screen, dual screen, connected TV, IPTV, social TV, smart TVs... we might not know quite what to call it yet, but the intersection of TV and the web isn't a thing of the future anymore. 60% of TVs sold in John Lewis are internet-enabled, and the store expects this to rise to 80% by Christmas. Google TV is set to launch in the UK in early 2012, with YouView not far behind. Two screen is about to go mainstream. (There's even a rather excellent conference on the subject in London this week.)
On Monday night BAFTA hosted a panel discussion on what the future of connected TV means to content creators. Suveer Kothari from Google TV, Tom Williams from BBC IPTV, Kate Vogel from the Tate and Richard Welsh from Bigballs Films discussed everything from VOD, to multi-platform storytelling, to Carling using camels to deliver beer in Yorkshire.
It takes a special type of government idiocy to attempt to replace the phrase Silicon Roundabout with Tech City.
Silicon Roundabout has a nice touch of British self-deprecation. It captures something of the place, centered as it is, on a grimey old roundabout. It is slipping into widespread usage, from The Economist to The Sun.
Tech City could be anywhere. If I had to guess, I'd imagine the outskirts of Doha or Shenzhen. It combines a linguistic tone-deafness with a whiff of compromise to suggest it was invented by a committee of people who don't speak English fluently. It's prematurely dated like an old Sci-Fi film.
Introducing a new name for basically the same place will, at best, be ignored. At worst, it creates confusion.
At the start of the summer Mint announced the Don't Be A Banker Scholarship. Our aim was to create an opportunity for aspiring web entrepreneurs to avoid the lure of corporate grad schemes and channel their energy into launching their own business.