When he was hired last May, Television New Zealand chief executive Kevin Kenrick rebuffed putative interviewers with the words “not until I know more about it”. …
“Most people think of TVNZ as being a TV business,” he begins. “Not surprisingly, I guess; we’ve got it in our name.” He goes on to explain they are now delivering 2.5 million online video streams a month and the number is growing at 30 per cent a year. “It has gone beyond a toe in the water to a really significant part of what we do every day.” …
He says people in the business don’t think of themselves as working in television any more – I suspect that would surprise some of them – but as being “in the video content business”. Would he change their name, then? He ponders this – “what would you call yourself?” – and settles for saying they will change people’s perceptions. He talks about giving people content when and where they want it. So one day, then, there might be no TV1 or TV2? He doesn’t know, doesn’t care much.
As an involuntary shareholder in TVNZ, I’m pleased to see this statement from Kenrick because I agree that the future is not necessarily in channels.
Traditionally there are three segments in broadcasting. Producing the content, playing it on a channel and distributing the content.
The future is more and more about the first and third segments. There will be money in producing content and money in distributing content. But not a lot of money in channels per se.
I watch very little live TV. I set My Sky to record programmes that interest me over around 20 different channels. I hardly even notice what channel they were originally on, and don’t really care. I care about content, not about channels.
Some viewers are different, especially older ones. But the world is changing and channels will become less valuable – especially as on demand content also increases in popularity.