Amazon

Guest post: A four-step plan to safeguard UK television

Jonathan Thompson, CEO of Digital UK

Our reaction to a major change of any kind usually goes in phases…

Avoidance (“I’m not going to look”)

Denial (“I’ve looked but I don’t believe it”)

Fear (“We’re doomed”)

Panic (“I just need to do something”)

Response (“Ok – maybe there is something practical I can do”)

Acceptance (“Well that wasn’t so bad”)

British TV has been fairly consistent in following this pattern when it has faced transformative change in the sector in the past.

Hulu ups the ante

The Looming Tower (Credit: Hulu)

Sometimes, a single show can change the way a broadcaster or a platform is perceived. For the US streaming service Hulu, The Handmaid’s Tale – based on Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel – has been one such show.

The 10-part series was made for Hulu by MGM Television (Hulu does not have in-house production capabilities) and quickly became water-cooler viewing on both sides of the Atlantic. It went on to win multiple awards, including a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series and a brace of Golden Globes.

Is British TV under threat? BBC plans Netflix-style service

"The UK is sleepwalking towards a serious, long term weakening of its TV production industry," said Hall, in front of a DCMS committee in Westminster on Tuesday November 7th .

Hall proposed the idea of a new, paid-for on-demand service featuring BBC programming, following the closure of the BBC Store after only 18 months.

The appetite for video on demand (VOD) and other third-party platforms is growing in the UK and abroad, in what is a rapidly changing TV market.

Lord Puttnam: We need regulation to curb data capitalism

Lord Puttnam (Credit: RTS/Paul Hampartsoumian)

In a high-concept, passionate RTS lecture, illustrated by film clips and quotes from such 20th century giants as John Maynard Keynes and Bob Dylan, Puttnam mounted a passionate case for media regulation to curb the excesses of “data capitalism.”

“Tech monopolies (Google, Amazon, Facebook) are taking over the internet. A pernicious form of corporatism could, under the wrong set of circumstances, replace democracy as we have known and enjoyed it,” he said.

It was “nonsense” that these companies were too big to regulate.  

Watch highlights from the RTS Cambridge Convention 2017

James Murdoch in conversation with Sarah Sands (Credit: RTS/Paul Hampartsoumian)

The three-day Convention featured keynotes from James Murdoch, Ofcom chief Sharon White and the Secretary of State Karen Bradley MP, as well as some lively panel discussions.

Watch highlights from the event below, or scroll down to watch the sessions in full. You can read more about this year's RTS Cambridge in the October issue of Television magazine.

Video: Show Me The Money! Andy Harries and Andy Wilman discuss working on the new frontier of broadcasting

It’s the dream scenario for a producer: to be handed a huge budget and the creative freedom to create compelling content for a new platform.  Producers Andy Harries and Andy Wilman, in conversation with Peter Fincham, discuss the origins and production of The Crown and The Grand Tour respectively. How did it work, how sustainable is it and where do they go from here?

Good Omens: The Apocalypse is coming to BBC Two and Amazon

The duo star as Aziraphale (Sheen), a somewhat fussy angel, and Crowley (Tennant), described in the books as “An Angel who did not so much Fall as Saunter Vaguely Downwards,” and whose cosy lives on earth are due to be brought to an ungainly halt by the arrival of the apocalypse – due on Saturday, just before dinner.

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are ready to ride, Atlantis has risen, and the Forces of Good and Evil are amassed, however plans for the Armageddon have spun wildly out of control and someone has lost the Antichrist. His name is Adam.

Amazon bets big on TV

The launch of Amazon Channels in May may not have generated big headlines, but it could turn out to be a defining moment in the history of television in the UK.

A big, trusted online consumer brand is now saying to consumers: “We can sell you anything from toilet rolls to TV channels and you can pick ’n’ mix whatever you want.”

Some broadcasters and digital giants have been nibbling at similar ideas for a few years, but Amazon’s move is telling – buying your TV channels can now take place in the same one-stop shop as purchasing your groceries.

Is targeted advertising the future of TV?

That was one of the main conclusions from an RTS early evening event, Is targeted advertising the future of TV?

A capacity crowd heard how the arrival of streaming services headed by Netflix and Amazon Prime plus the challenge from Facebook and Google are changing the dynamics of TV advertising. 

Catch-up TV and the traditional broadcasters' own on-demand offerings are also driving change.  

All this is posing problems for audience measurement, the bedrock of TV advertising for more than half a century.