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OPINION: Towards a 2020 Networked Society

In the Networked Society of 2020 the most forward-thinking and agile players will be those who put the connected viewer first, argues Elisabetta Romano, vice-president and head of TV and media, Ericsson

The television industry has transformed the service beyond recognition from 90 years ago when the first public demonstration of televised moving images took place. From TV���s inception, pioneering work has pushed the medium forward both technically and creatively, from black and white into colour, and from conventional broadcasting to experimental storytelling. Now it has surged ahead into digital territory, through HD and soon into the internet era of television.

Over the next five years, we’ll see the traditional media value chain being broken and remolded into a new dynamic ecosystem. Established rights holders, producers, content owners, broadcasters and all forms of TV service providers will compete with one another, and new entrants for consumer loyalty and new investment. As all players seek to constantly evolve how content is produced, delivered, discovered and experienced, we’ll see greater interplay between players across the entire media spectrum.

Most importantly, if today’s television industry is to flourish, it must continue to listen and understand the needs of the viewer. In the Networked Society of 2020, the most forward-thinking and agile players will emerge as leaders of the pack – those who are putting the connected viewer first.

With the hunger for media consumption that consumers are showing today, and their outright refusal to accept that TV isn’t on their terms, companies that offer seamless services across many devices, deliver sophisticated personalisation and create outstanding visual experiences with perceived value, will be rewarded.

Technology has been an utterly critical component in allowing the art of television to continually evolve and become more beautiful, impactful and immersive. And at the heart of this journey to the internet era of television lie three technologies in particular.

The cloud is fuelling agility and dynamism across TV, and will be key to serving the constantly shifting and ever changing demands of the consumer. It’s an industry imperative which will deliver a whole host of cross selling opportunities, social interactions and will change the way consumers discover, navigate and experience content.

Broadband IP has cemented its place as the fabric of the Networked Society and the transport for every piece of content in the future from acquisition to consumption. Large investments in broadband capacity will be required to feed the ever-increasing demands of video consumption across mobile networks.

High Efficiency Video Coding too will take video transport into a more efficient direction, bringing about Ultra HD through advancements in higher dynamic range, higher frame rates and colour depth.

At IBC, Ericsson is elaborating on these important themes and showcasing new and existing solutions that have been built to meet the needs of customers’ viewers and which bring value to the entire media value chain, right the way through from media enrichment to media processing, delivery and the experience for the end viewer. By publishing our 2015 ConsumerLab TV report, that spans 20 countries, we will validate our strategy by showing what audiences are demanding and how these consumer insights should be responded to in order to ensure success in the future of TV.