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10.14.2004
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
New business models, technology could point way to secure content

Technology is rapidly changing the economic foundations upon which the industry is built, leaving consumers, broadcasters and content providers scrambling as they enter uncharted terrain.

That was a central theme of Abe Peled’s keynote “Can Content Remain King?” speech Sept. 10 at IBC2004. Peled, who is president and CEO of NDS Group, a News Corp. company, suggested that technologies such as personal video recorders are changing how audiences view programming, giving them an easy way to skip past commercials. The ramifications of putting so much viewing control in the hands of audiences are only now beginning to be felt, and are sure to change the relationship between broadcasters and advertisers, he said.

Peled asserted that against this backdrop, premium channels have emerged as viable, growing alternatives to traditional advertiser-paid free TV. In fact, he suggested that as an increasing number of viewers adopt personal video recorder technology and skip past commercials, broadcasters may reach a point where their business model expands to encompass paid-programming models.

Specifically, Peled suggested that at some time in the future broadcasters may find it necessary to ask viewers to commit to watching all of the commercials paying for programming or pay to watch.

Peled also identified broadband Internet connectivity as a technological factor undoing established economic models used to compensate video content providers and distributors for their efforts. He pointed to technologies such as the Secure Video Processor standard as possible hardware solutions that could protect content producers from unauthorized redistribution of their property.

For more information, visit www.ibc.org.

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