The 2012 London Olympics have provided a clear example of consumer demand and engagement with innovative and ground-breaking services. The popularity of Foxtel’s live dedicated HD multi-channels was reflected through record ratings that saw audiences of up to 1.2 million tuning in across Australia to catch the sporting action. Yet, it was not only broadcasting services that have proved popular with subscribers. The Foxtel Olympic iPad app was downloaded by 135,000 people and during the first week of the Olympics there were more than 190,000 video streams.
In some ways the London Olympics will provide a benchmark by which future major event broadcast developments and changing viewer experiences and expectations will be measured.
We do know that content continues to be viewed on multiple devices. The development and take-up of over the top (OTT) services also continues on a global scale. In the United States recent statistics released by IMS Research show that 30% of US consumers who plan to purchase a TV set in the next 12 months intend to purchase an Internet-connected or Smart TV. The recent PwC Australian Entertainment and Media report also predicted that more than a quarter of Australians would receive subscription services via a connected television by 2017.
In light of these developments ASTRA’s next Spotlight event on 21 August 2012 will further explore television innovation. The Changing Viewer Experience event will be moderated by Bruce Meagher from Foxtel. It will feature Matthew Deaner, Manager, Strategy & Research, Screen Australia, Evan Manolis, Group Manager AV at Samsung Electronics Australia and Craig Blair, CEO, Zeebox. The event will provide ASTRA members with the opportunity to hear about new technology and viewer trends and to discuss opportunities for future increased viewer engagement.
It is interesting to recall just how much has changed in the four years since the Beijing Olympics were held during 2008. A recent article in the Financial Review highlighted that at the Beijing Olympics the Apple iPad had not even been released, over the past four years monthly video viewership has increased by 330%, Facebook now has more than 900 million accounts, compared to 90 million in 2008 and Twitter is carrying over 140 million tweets a day compared to 1.1 million four years ago. If these statistics are anything to go by we can expect to see truly amazing developments that will continue to change the viewer experience and engage audiences in new and exciting ways.