Issues Surrounding Future Television
Television has changed a great deal recently and new challenges are just around the corner. Philippe Deloeuvre, director of digital strategy for France Télévisions, has facilitated two meetings during FIFO about tomorrow’s television. The issues: to find tools that take into account consumer use, but also their expectations.
Two million French people watch television every day on screens other than their traditional televisions (+ 20 % in 1 year), and they watch it for less time (the average is currently 3hrs 40min per day, that is 4 minutes less than the previous year). However the real challenge for television channels lies elsewhere, in the timeslots. “People no longer want to be restricted to select a programme from a schedule at a specific time. We want to be able to choose what and when we watch it,” emphasises Philippe Deloeuvre who recalls that 2.2 million people use replay every day in France. This means that tomorrow’s television must integrate this need and enable everyone to watch catch-up TV or to resume a programme currently being broadcast, for example.
However, that is not the only challenge. Today everyone can produce high definition footage of varying quality. “This is footage by amateurs, but who gradually become professionals. This means that one goes from a very closed, hard to access audiovisual world, to a world that is opening up and where almost everyone can broadcast their production. Moreover, the YouTube slogan is “Broadcast yourself.” Obviously, this changes things for us,” highlights this digital specialist. Even the news, a professional sector, has not been spared; anyone can create a blog and send images. “Above all, people want news in real time, these are the challenges faced.”
To respond to these expectations, we need to think beyond the relevance of the programmes and enable programmes to find their own audiences: to be seen by future generations; recruit new faces; experiment with new writing. For Philippe Deloeuvre, “new writing can take several forms. Sometimes these productions resemble programmes but made with less means and costs in relationship to a traditional programme. Sometimes these are more hybrid things, that start with a video clip and then continue with interaction.” The perfect example is the programme Génération quoi ? that was also a major survey of young people proposed by France Télévisions and its partners. Will all these new formats one day replace television, as we know it? Probably not, but they will have to co-exist. “We still need a little imagination to envisage it,” concludes Philippe Deloeuvre.
Connected TV in Tahiti
The second meeting discussing the theme of television focuses primarily on connected TV in French Polynesia. In mainland France, one out of two televisions have this hybrid system that links the television and the Internet. In French Polynesia, we are at the early stages, mainly due to insufficient broadband. Currently, it is indeed difficult to put forward offers that are widely deployed and the question of a second cable has already been addressed during the meeting. A forerunner like NiuTV with its box connected to the Internet with access to 400 television channels is paving the way.