What should cable’s priority be for 2012?
Most importantly cable should be seen as a distribution way for information and entertainment to any kind of screen beyond TV. The screen and not the platform in between is where the magic happens. That is where we have to entertain and satisfy a growing variety of specific target groups. This environment gives Viacom International Media Networks, as a content provider of quality entertainment, and the cable distributors the chance to prioritize alternative screens by aiming at target audiences that drive the adaption of technology and new devices even further. Connecting these audiences through a diversity of specific content on which screen ever should be our objective.
How will cable compete with its peers in the increasingly tough connectivity market?
TV industry is growing from a single screen to a multi screen industry. Primarily it is not about fancy business models, it is rather about great products, great entertainment and an excellent consumer experience at every touch point. Obviously, in the first place it is the product itself. The content, packaging, pricing and making it available everywhere the consumer expects it. The consumer will not accept that pirated content is available on all their screens, while legal content is rarely to be found. That is our and the cable operators challenge.
Will growth in VOD be sustained in 2012?
Definitely. More and broader catch up services and more attractive value packages especially in SVOD will initiate an increasing appetite for time and place shifted video consumption. We consider Northern Europe as a growth market for Affiliate Sales in general and SVOD in particular.
What will be the most exciting new technology that’s relevant to the cable industry in 2012?
I think an efficient video picture search would be a big benefit for the usability within video consumption. The company developing this will beat Google – but they are most likely to invent it their selves.
We know you’re a cable guy but what is your guilty pleasure when it comes to gadgets or specific technologies?
My favorite gadget right now is the MTV UTT “Under The Thumb” App on which I can endlessly watch favorite videos like Starships “We built this City” or the vast variety of our popular MTV shows. UTT enables the user to even share video contents with friends and watch together. It is the perfect gadget to combine premium content on new screens, on demand video and social interactivity to be used mobile wherever you are.