C is for...

I went to an interesting lecture this week, delivered by Mark Thompson, Director General of the BBC. Mark's lecture focused on changing user/viewer habits (BBC online and broadcast) and how the BBC are reacting to developments in technology to enable them to lead the market in new ways to acquire content in the home, 'on demand'.

The on demand concept is one that is beginning to creep into all media. The recent and enormous growth in popularity of Podcasts shows how web-savvy audiences are adopting the 'what I want, when I want it' attitude and the BBC are throwing a lot of resource at satisfying these audiences.

"On demand changes all of this. It means you can potentially consume BBC content at a time and on a device which suits you… For our licence-payers it means greater convenience and greater value, not because we expect them to consume more content in absolute terms but because we would expect more of the content they do consume to be more directly relevant and attractive to them."

Mark described (in some detail) the Beeb's trial of its MyBBCplayer technology that uses peer-to-peer technology to enable users to catch up on TV and radio programmes from the previous seven days. For me, one of the most interesting results of the trial was what Mark described as the 'long tail effect'. Briefly, rather than download activity clustering around a handful of well-known titles, users go exploring. Niche programmes, which often struggle to reach a substantial audience on linear channels, were both downloaded and viewed.

I've maintained for a long time that content is king and if you can crack delivering the right content to the right audience (and at the right time – 'on demand') you're on course for a winning solution. This BBC technology piece highlights a behavioural study published by analysts Future Laboratory on how increasing use of 3G mobile phones can change the way people communicate and create new social trends and tribes. The study dubs the new generation of mobile phone users Generation C, with C meaning content.

The mantra of Generation C: I know what I want and I want it 'on demand'

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Blogger Serge said...

Reading your last two posts, I have to say you are certainly providing great C! If you want to know more about the 'long tail' theory and related topics, thoughts,... , this blog could be useful: . I know: so obvious a name, you probably could have discovered the blog yourself ;-).

8:53 am  
Blogger Pub said...

Thanks Serge, I always wondered what generation tag I'd fall under (I missed all the good stuff in the 60's and 70's, was too young to indulge in 80's greed and Generation X seemed too American).

Some interesting stuff on Will delve deeper when I have a bit of time

11:06 am  

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