Online video forces change on TV industry

Updated 18 August 2013
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Online video forces change on TV industry

Having turned print media upside down, the Internet now is disrupting television, forcing broadcasters to adapt to tablets and video-on-demand to hold onto views and advertisers.
“The gap between what consumers want and the way the industry is delivering it has grown so big that the industry now has to start to make some moves,” Forrester Research analyst Jim Nail told AFP.
Viacom, Time Warner, Disney, 21st Century Fox, CBS — the second quarter results of the big US media groups confirmed that cable networks remain their cash cows.
For the first time this year, however, American adults are spending more time with the Internet than in front of television sets — about five hours a day compared to 4.5, according to a study in eMarketer this month.
The independent market research firm notes that users sometimes use the Internet and watch television at the same time — and that video represents only part of online consumption.
That doesn’t stop a group like Netflix, which offers films and original programming on demand, from growing and spawning imitators such as Amazon’s online streaming service.
The formula is favored by youngsters who relish cartoons on their tablet devices and TV binge-viewers who watch multiple episodes of their favorite shows in one sitting.
Internet giant Google has joined the party with Chromecast, a device that plugs into the HDMI input of a TV set to provide streaming video.
Apple is meanwhile consistently rumored to be developing online television services.
“There will still be some linear real time viewing of TV for the Super Bowl or breaking news events ... but entertainment-based video will move to more on-demand,” Nail said.
“If you own a TV station, you are in the same position as a newspaper. There will be other ways to watch content and you’re going to be very challenged,” he explained.
On the other hand, “if you are the content owner, you should not worry at all.”
You might have to abandon cable distribution and get a slot on Netflix, but content is in such high demand “that you will be able to make money... It really shouldn’t change your financial outlook or your survival.”
Media groups see the risks in relative terms.
Time Warner chief executive Jeff Bewkes, whose corporation includes HBO and CNN, told financial analysts in a conference call that he regards Internet streaming as complementary to broadcasting — something that adds value to programming.
Viacom talks about adapting to changing public behavior.
“Certain kids are going to consume content on tablets, and if you want your content to have a shot at being consumed you have to have it on a tablet,” its chief operating officer Tom Dooley said.
Viacom is “aggressively” positioning itself in the tablet market with distribution partnerships like the one it forged with Amazon for such children’s shows as “SpongeBob SquarePants” and “Dora the Explorer.”
It has also launched what Dooley called a “phenomenally successful” mobile app for Viacom’s Nickelodeon children’s channel.
“Streaming continues to be a terrific growth driver for us,” affirmed CBS chief Leslie Moonves, whose network has struck an exclusive deal with Amazon guaranteeing the profitability of its summer series “Under the Dome,” based on a Stephen King novel.
Viacom and CBS have seen their income stemming from program distribution rights leap 28 and 22 percent respectively, due in part to the Internet effect.
For those who own content, the multiplication of online video services can have a favorable effect by bidding up the money they can get from selling distribution rights.
In Nail’s opinion, there is “a lot more to do before (television companies) meet consumer demand and create the new business model they need to profit” from Internet-driven change.


Pakistan is rapidly becoming a “digital-first country”, Google

Updated 18 November 2018
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Pakistan is rapidly becoming a “digital-first country”, Google

  • Pakistan digital growth is supported by population and increasing penetration of internet, IT experts
  • Prime Minister’s Taskforce on IT and Telecom to meet next week to draw comprehensive policy

KARACHI: Destine to become the fourth fastest growing economy by 2030, Pakistan, supported by a growing population, fast growing business and increasing penetration of Internet, is poised to grab first position among the digital economies, Information Technology (IT) experts say.
US technology giant, Google, says Pakistan is quickly becoming a “digital-first country”, which means there are new opportunities for brands to reach and engage with consumers that may have previously been overlooked.
“It shows that Google has realized the marketing potential of the country and they are now encouraging businesses to focus on Pakistan as a potential market,” Badar Khushnood, vice president of growth at Fishry.Com and vice chairman of [email protected], commented.
According to Google, there are five reasons for “considering expanding your digital campaigns into Pakistan”.
Pakistan’s growing population is the first reason that makes the country attractive for the foreign and local investors to venture into the IT sector.
“Pakistan has a population of more than 202 million people, which means there are lot of potential consumers coming online every day. And the country is even more urbanized than neighboring India, with nearly 40 percent of total households living in cities,” writes Lars Anthonizen, head of large customer marketing, South Asia, Google.
Pakistan’s economy grew by 5.7 percent in fiscal year 2018. HSBC in is recent report published in September 2018 has projected Pakistan to become the fourth fastest growing economy by 2030.
Around 90 percent of the companies in the country are SMEs which are contributing more that 40 percent to the country’s 313 billion economy, according to the State Bank of Pakistan.
Third attraction, according to Google, is the country’s growing smart phone users. Pakistan has 152 million cellar subscribers, and 60 million 3G/4G subscribers, according to Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).
This number will likely grow quickly as smart phone prices have dropped over the last few years. Pakistan also has some of the cheapest data prices in the world, which is helping to grow mobile app usage, according to Google.
However, experts say more work is needed to be done to fully utilize the existing potential. “We need to work on optic fibers, penetration of 4G, creation of data centers, telecom infrastructure and most importantly creation of awareness among masses,” Pervaiz Iftikhar, a member of the newly formed prime minister’s Taskforce on IT and Telecom, told Arab News.
Pakistan’s overall Internet penetration stands at 29.9 percent with 62 million broadband subscribers, a fourth attraction for the investor, as per Google. In spite of this, digital consumption in the country continues to grow quickly. YouTube watch time, for example, has seen over 60 percent growth over the last three years.
The Chinese-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is the largest Chinese investment venture in Pakistan with around $62 billion, a fifth reason to look toward Pakistan.
The mega project under BRI is not only limited to the infrastructure and energy sector but it is also contributing to the growth of the IT sector in Pakistan.
“One of the first CPEC projects is to lay 820 kilometers of fiber-optic cable, connecting more Pakistanis to the Internet. This is in addition to ongoing investments in 3G and 4G network expansions from China Mobile, and the company has already announced plans to invest another $225 million in 4G expansion (bringing its total investment to $2.4 billion),” writes Lars Anthonizen.
“We have to connect every village through fiber optics that will not only create thousands of jobs but would multiply opportunities for the IT business countrywide,” Pervaiz Iftikhar added.
“A lot of potential exists in the IT sector of Pakistan with the young population turning to computers, smart phones and other digital means, and the country offers big market for local and foreign investors”, Jehan Ara, another member of the prime minister’s Taskforce on IT and Telecom and president of [email protected], commented.
Badar Khushnood, who is also former consultant of Google, Facebook and Twitter, called for comprehensive policy for the growth of the IT sector.
“Taxation systems should be rationalized, simplified, and encouraging for startups. The country also needs data protection laws, and broader cyber laws,” he added.
The first meeting of the prime minister’s Task Force on IT and Telecom is expected to be held next week in Islamabad. “Comprehensive strategy including short term and long term measures would be discussed in the upcoming meeting of taskforce because country needs a policy for the persistent growth of IT and Telecom sector”, Pervaiz Iftikhar informed.