Established industries typically regard new technologies as threats. Think of broadcast TV and cable in the 1960s or VCRs in the 1970s. In the same way, many cable and broadcast operators today see new IP channels for video and TV as, at best, cannibals.
A better way is viewing advances as opportunities to get more content to more consumers and do so on their terms.
In the past, products were defined by the technology they were built on, either cable or broadcast, explained Albert Cheng, VP of digital media at Disney-ABC, in his Industry Perspective talk at VON. Today's model is a multiplatform ecosystem that connects fans to their shows – on a TV, PC, phone or MP3 player.
For example, ABC makes all of its shows available at abc.com, ABC Mobile, iTunes and On Demand within 12 hours of broadcast. Instead of cannibalizing its audience, ABC found that more than 50 percent of the audience consisted of people who had missed the show.
Another benefit is for advertisers who can now interact with viewers by offering demos or coupons. "It was clear that consumers respond very positively to ads that were highly interactive and highly relevant," Cheng said. "You can't do that on broadcast."