By Colin Dixon, Senior Consultant, IPTV Practice Manager
The Diffusion Group (TDG)
What I Learned at IBC
While visiting IBC in Amsterdam two weeks ago, I attended a conference session in the Multi-Media in the Connected Home track called 'The Markets - Integration or Disintegration.' The panel discussion inevitably turned to the much-debated subject of broadband video on the television. The Microsoft representative on the panel argued that it will be "decades" before broadband video reaches the TV and becomes a mainstream phenomenon.
His argument centered on the generally accepted notion that the so-called "late majority' - a segment which in theory comprises over ½ of the mainstream consumer market - is typically very slow to embrace new technologies1. According to this principle, one would expect that for many people - especially mainstream consumers who have become quite comfortable with the TV they have known and loved for decades - are unlikely to embrace a radically different medium of delivery.
While this insight seems commonsensical, the late majority has proven to be surprisingly agile when something compelling comes along that appeals directly to them. Witness the speed with which this segment has embraced the Internet. In an extremely short period of time, even the 'wait and see' late majority has flocked to the Internet, enjoying the convenience of online shopping, the immediacy of Internet messaging, and the virtual interaction of online social communities.