"It may no longer be good enough just to be fittest to win: being fastest is the new imperative."
Television is characterized by constancy and change. It delivers consistently high quality entertainment and information to hundreds of millions of homes in Europe against a background of unrelenting change. Consumer behaviors, business models, underlying technologies and the needs of adjacent sectors such as telecommunications evolve untiringly.
Five elements of change that have emerged or accelerated in the last year and which we believe the industry should be cognizant of:
1) Big data – the raw material of the digital era – provides multiple opportunities for the TV sector. But there are costs, and limitations, to its application. We look at how big data can be used, and with what caveats, to bolster advertising and program making.
2) The second screen is now ubiquitous in Europe: broadcasters need to determine how best to harness the devices' popularity and how their usage might threaten TV's business model. We look at the current impact of second screens on viewing behavior and the public's reaction to dedicated TV apps.
3) A further, post digital switchover, reallocation of spectrum is being planned for, which will result in the TV sector ceding further frequency. We look at the implications of a second digital dividend for terrestrial broadcasters, mobile operators and government.
4) Technological evolution has been a hallmark of the industry since the first broadcast, and in the last year one of the most significant progressions has been the commercialization of ultra-high definition (4K) television. We assess 4K's first year performance.
5) Making televisions connected is a key industry dynamic. The cost of this is falling fast, with streaming video peripherals now available from €12. We look at how the proliferation of these devices might change consumption.
The remit for European TV executives is broad; we hope that this report is a useful input into understanding and responding these diverse, inter-related developments.