Seven is about seven years too late
The Seven Media Group, who control the Seven television network in Australia, recently announced a partnership with TIVO to introduce digital video recorders into the Australian market. Those in the US and Canada will know about TIVO, the company having been offering digital television recording since the late 90s.
Tivos are suppose to revolutionise the Australian television industry because they will allow consumers to record television programmes and play them back at a later time. You know, like you used to do with VCRs and, now with, PVRs. The Australian industry has long resisted the introduction of digital recorders. They even sued to prevent the publishing of their programme guides. But now, with changing viewer habits and rapidly declining revenue streams Seven has been forced to act. Unfortunately, for Seven and the other networks, it’s too little too late.
The problem is that the Tivo is old tech. It was great when the networks were the only distribution system for your favourite television programme. However, now most tech-savvy fans download their shows from peer-to-peer sites, often years in advance of the shows been broadcast in Australia. Even better the downloads come sans commercials. And despite the measures of the MPAA and their ilk, this method of distribution only seems to be on the increase. Australia has the highest number of users per capita downloading tv shows in the world.
Commercial television is in a major flux. Audiences and subsequently revenues are declining across the board. It’s clear that what was once a cash-cow is now under serious threat. But for the most part the industry only has itself to blame. It has been slow to adopt new technologies and as a result consumers are looking elsewhere for their entertainment. The industry needs to completely re-educate and remodel itself otherwise it risks irrelevance.Tags: australia, rant, seven, television, tivo