For all of you couch potatoes out there, there are some exciting changes in store for television. After decades under the same business model, television networks are now looking to companies like Google and Apple for innovative solutions concerning television and television advertisements. Maybe TV will be like the web and we can search for our favorite shows (House, The Apprentice, and Football), have similar shows recommended from both large networks and small videoblogs, and receive non-intrusive targeted advertisements. Anyways, if you need to get up to speed on the future of TV, here you go.

  • The Future of Television Advertising - John Battelle wrote a post over a year about the possibilities of a television advertising campaign similar to Google’s Adwords. It seems TiVo will now turn that vision into a reality with the first television-based advertising search solution in Spring 2006. According to TiVo, “search capabilities that enhance the TV viewing experience, the new product will deliver relevant, targeted advertising to subscribers that want to view particular advertising categories.”

  • A La Carte Television - The FCC now believes television viewers should have the ability to subscribe to individual channels instead of bundles. Since the average viewer doesn’t watch even a quarter of the bundled channels, this could be great if the price is right.

  • Looking for the Proceeds in TV-on-Demand - The future of television may be on demand, but what will the business model be?

  • TV 2.0: How To Think Strategically About the Future of TV - “Like newspapers, rather than building new resources and competencies for the eventual shift to service and network driven economics, TV players have invested heavily to protect slowly decaying strategies and business models - through regulation, by building iron curtains of distribution, and by choosing to invest marketing rather than in innovation.”

  • TV Stardom on $20 a Day - According to this New York Times article, Rocketboom, a popular videoblog has over 100,000 viewers. Rocketboom is so popular that TiVo has plans to include the show in its directory. It looks like average people will also have a say in the future of television.

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Chris Campbell

The Future of Television by Chris Campbell

This entry was posted 5 years ago and was filed under Notebooks.
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  1. Chad Lawson · 5 years ago

    I’m glad that the FCC is thinking in the right direction, but I’d like to see them thinking a little further in that direction…

    Once TiVo came out, a couple fellow TiVo owners and I were discussing the future of television and the cost of getting the cable channels we wanted for a couple of shows.

    We had the idea of moving to a business model where you can subscribe to specific shows rather than channels.

    At $0.99/episode (picked arbitrarily, but based on iTunes model), my fiancee would pay about $3.96/month while I would pay closer to $31.68/month for my viewing habits.

    Maybe have pilot episodes available for free or for a lesser charge.

    Anyway… that was my $0.02.

  2. Mike Purvis · 5 years ago

    I’ve said before that pilots should be available for free. has become as ubiquitous as IMDB in the online movie-loving community.

    Imagine the power of a similar distribution for TV pilots… go there, watch the 40 minute show, click to order the DVDs on Amazon. (or better yet, pay $2 on iTunes to grab the next episode and keep viewing)

    It’d be an amazing tool for evangelizing little-known or misunderstood shows.

    And once everything’s completely on-demand, we’ll see a surge in programming like Alias and Veronica Mars, where a significant element each episode is the continuous story that builds through the season. A lot of Anime is like this too, but North American viewers are apparently too married to the Friends sitcom model where every episode completely stands alone.

  3. Ben Young · 5 years ago

    @the Author: Great article. It would be brilliant to be able to select the channels you really want, especially as there are people (like me) who don’t watch a great deal of television on the whole, but enjoy specific shows or would like to subscribe to just one sport channel (Sky Sports 1, for example). They’d definitely get more custom, as I for one wouldn’t subscribe to a big package deal, but would definitely go for an, as you put it, A La Carte option.

    @Mike Purvis: Excellent idea about free pilots, and not one I’ve heard suggested before. What a brilliant way to get new shows exposure, and to get a broader sample of public reaction.

  4. Jeff · 5 years ago

    Yay for pay-per-show setups!

    I don’t want to pay for 600 channels of content. I don’t want to pay for 1 channel of content. I want to pay for the content direct.

    The idea of free pilots and $2 a show is great — but it’s still not enough to move away from ads. Ads make big, big bucks. Admittedly, an internet download delivery system would save money for the providers, but I don’t see this happening without DRM.

    I applaud Apple for pushing this marker (downloadable shows) and even bought a show or two just to support the cause (the quality, quite honestly, is terrible). At least it’s moving in the right direction. :)

  5. Jenny Young · 5 years ago

    Everyone needs a hug.