Meeting the demands of the Connected Consumer

Asia Pacific has a unique broadcast market dynamic with a new generation of connected consumer emerging.
According to IDC, due to the combination of a fast growing economy and a lack of fixed infrastructure in the developing countries, mobility is crucial to the lives of many consumers and businesses in the region.
Reuben Verghese, former Asia Vice President for Accedo and now an independend media consultant will explore this theme at the BroadcastAsia2015 conference in June.
Verghese believes the broadcasting industry is one to watch in 2015, as more businesses learn to best leverage mobile device adoption and to utilize it for engage with consumers.
We asked him about his technology predictions for the broadcasting industry.

radioinfo: Instinctively we are observing people transitioning to mobility and mobile devices, but do you have hard figures to track this audience fragmentation trend? Are they world figures, or just from the big developed markets?

Verghese: Asia Pacific is already the largest region in the global mobile market, with the total of 1.7 billion accounting for almost half of all the world’s unique subscribers according to GSMA.
With such high mobile penetration, we are seeing between 50% – 70% of online media usage on mobile devices in the region. This figure is also likely to increase with the growth of 4G network services and rise of larger screen devices across the region.Consumers will become increasingly picky, and content producers will have to understand how, why and what consumers are using to continually engage them.

 radioinfo: There is a shift in the way consumers and enterprises consume and deliver video services?

Verghese: Think about this: would you rather wait till Tuesday 7.30pm to see a favourite show on your pay TV Set Top Box or stream it instantly on your tablet, smartphone or PC? What is the value of your traditional pay TV subscription if you have instant access to content through other low cost (or no cost) means? Do you still need that expensive pay TV subscription any more? These are decisions that hundreds of millions of consumers are making across the world. The truth is, people are not consuming any less content, they are merely consuming them differently.
radioinfo: Do you see the trends that are happening for television also happening for radio?

Verghese: Absolutely. In fact, music was a first mover with streaming, due to the lower bandwidth requirements to stream audio. The convenience and ability to choose your favourite content, coupled with saving of storage space, make the digitalization of both television and radio extremely attractive options for consumers.
radioinfo: Can you give some examples of where radio broadcasters are making use to video content to enhance their businesses?

Verghese: We see a number of radio broadcasters diversifying into video creation and distribution. This includes distribution through traditional linear broadcast TV as well as online. Commercial Radio Productions (CRP) and Radio Television Hong Kong are examples. CRP recently launched the “903 Music on The Move” program, where music and videos are combined to offer a new experience for mobile users.
radioinfo: How are cloud services helping broadcasters to overcome their own infrastructure problems/limitations?

Verghese: Cloud services give broadcasters a global scalable platform to deliver content to Internet connected devices. It helps take away the low level technical infrastructure work to get new online content services up and running.
radioinfo: With globalization, we are witnessing an increase in content partnerships between telecommunications and content production companies. Can you give some examples.

Verghese: HOOQ, a joint venture between Singtel, Sony Pictures Television and Warner Bros Entertainment, is one example, which has been getting a lot of attention recently. This is definitely a noteworthy partnership that is likely to further transform many Asians’ video consumption habits. More importantly, we have to remember that the digitally-engaged consumers are increasingly demanding. They expect premium entertainment content to be available to them at their convenience, and this is precisely what these partnerships will offer.
radioinfo: What role does analytics play in this new media landscape?

Verghese: Analytics plays a huge role. As the audience fragments onto multiple devices and across multiple digital products, it is essential that broadcasters provide advertisers the data they need to make budget expenditure decisions. In an increasingly complex media environment, analytics also allows new media service providers to delve into the consumer psyche to unearth consumption patterns and behaviours for better insight into the consumer profile to tailor services and unique content offerings and constantly improve their products. Based on meaningful data, they are able to better relate to their consumers.
radioinfo: Any other thoughts about how the changes in consumption habits are affecting the world wide radio industry?

Verghese: The global radio industry needs to follow audiences onto popular Internet connected devices. Let’s be honest: radio is a smaller industry than it was twenty years ago. If the radio industry wants to survive in a world of on-demand content, it needs to modernize and adapt to today’s online content consumption patterns.The industry should also think about social networking as a way to generate interest in programming. Otherwise a new generation of potential consumers will never even know what great radio content is out there.
BroadcastAsia will be held in Singapore from 2nd – 5th June.