Channel 4 CEO Alex Mahon is expected to use her speech at this year’s Royal Television Society convention in Cambridge to issue a warning about the growing power of the big technology companies.
Mahon will say that the UK is facing a viewing future controlled by the likes of Netflix, Amazon and YouTube that threatens the essential role British broadcasters play in shaping the national culture.
According to The Guardian, Mahon will say: “As viewers, we should be wary of a future controlled by just the biggest players in tech.”
“There is a growing concentration of power in the hands of just a few tech behemoths who increasingly want to decide what we read, watch and listen to. It makes better business sense [for them] to surface first the content they make the best returns on, whether it’s Amazon boosting its own products on marketplace, Google prioritising its own podcasts or Netflix serving us its own productions.”
Mahon will also discuss the streaming wars, which are set to become even bigger with the forthcoming launches of Disney Plus, Apple TV+ and HBO Max and Peacock in the US.
“It’s all about scale and control and about arming themselves with the tech and financial firepower to be the biggest,” she is expected to say.
“It’s about distributing the same recipe to lots of different markets. The global telly of the future will not be – and isn’t being – designed to reflect Britain back to itself, to bring the nation together at particular moments, to inform and educate a particular society or to care about promoting any kind of social cohesion.”