Television 2020: Top Predictions On Technology Trends

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Trends Shaping The Television Broadcast Industry

TV viewing has expanded to 5.8 hours per day in the last decade, with the hours divided between the dozens of screens. IPTV market to touch $80 billion in 2020, Europe and Asia pacific emerge as the burgeoning IPTV markets. Annual global IP traffic will cross the the two zettabyte threshold in 2019. Global IP traffic will touch 1.1 zettabytes per year or 88.4 exabytes (one billion gigabytes) per month in 2016. By 2019, global IP traffic will reach a new milestone figure of 2.0 zettabytes per year, or 168.0 exabytes per month. Content delivery networks will carry over half of Internet traffic by 2019. 90% global internet traffic will go video by 2018, streaming-alone households in US will hit 14 million by 2020. It would take an individual over 5 million years to watch the amount of video that will cross global IP networks each month in 2019. Every second, nearly a million minutes of video content will cross the network by 2019.(Cisco)

Television 2020 vision is about personalized technology, on-demand viewer experience, individuated content distribution, binge-watching, small television shows and independent cinema, innovative television formats, more localized and vernacular content, ad-free models to targeted ads and everyone connected to a smart TV.

With introduction of disruptive business models and innovative technologies, television is transforming itself. Let us look at trends shaping the future of television:

Over-the-top television:

Over-the-top television is new age broadcasting. TV via live streaming, BBC iPlayer, Netflix, multi-platform video, smartphones & consoles, has ushered in the age of TV Everywhere and burgeoning content. What is it that Amazon Prime, Hulu TV, Sling TV, HBO Now, Netflix, offer , that has shaken up broadcasting? On demand access, video-on-demand, stand alone streaming, multiple screens viewing, flexible subscriptions, slimmed down television bundles/skinny bundles, original content, audience interaction, cost-effective packs, are among a few things on the platter. So broadcasting has moved beyond linear television, expensive cable bundles and inflexible programming. The low cost packs are a big factor: Sling TV, for example, has a core package for $20 a month, and offers additional packages for an extra $5 a months. Original content and series, is the next in queue: Netflix investing millions of dollars in exclusive content, political thriller"House of Cards" or the fourth season of cult comedy "Arrested Development". Nielsen's data, shows 45 percent of Netflix streaming subscribers say they watched at least one of the company's original programs. These stand alone streaming services are attracting the millennials in hoards. The phenomenon has given rise to a new social group known as the cord-cutters.

Social TV and the Multi Screens:

Does an exodus from linear television, translates to people watching less TV?  Rather the exact opposite. People are watching more television, consuming more videos, but the key divergence has been in the viewing experience, which has expanded to multiple screens. Smartphones, computers and tabs have accelerated video consumption. Live streaming and OTT has given audience more control over video generation, distribution and consumption. Internet is drastically changing the patterns of media consumption. Multi screen viewership facilitates connectivity and sharing. Social conversations around television shows and programs, have become a key to ratings, viewership and audience engagements. Nielsen shows that more than half of global respondents (58%) say they browse the Internet while watching video programming. 'Cross-Screen Engagement' has transformed the relationship between television viewing and the audience, resulting in distinct viewing patterns. Second and third screens are becoming an extension of the viewing experience. Live-video streaming platforms, Meerkat and Periscope, are all set to transform and democratize news and video broadcasting, notching up social conversations. Live videos streaming of the Mayweather and Pacquiao boxing match, was a breakthrough in social broadcasting.

The second screen conversation has transformed television. TV has become social. Television shows go trending, garner higher viewership and ratings – depending on whether the conversation on social media is rolling or not. Social TV is about enhancing consumer TV experience, programme development, content generation and targeting, TV shows/program awareness, targeted advertisement/ television advertising. “Audiences aren’t just surfing through channels when the TV is on anymore; they are riding the waves of second screens”, Nielsen.

Targeted Advertising:

Streaming and OTT television is "positive for TV advertising” with streamlined and targeted advertisements. Big Data and audience analytics, are the new trends in the broadcast and TV industry and are taking TV advertisement to the next level. Subscriber information and data pulled from multiple sources including social TV, networked engagements, audience measurement tools etc, is shaping television advertising. To sell targeted, dynamically inserted ads into both live TV and content consumed on-demand, is new age TV advertising. Big Data allows television to connect to its digital audience. NBCUniversal’s “audience targeting platform,” or ATP, combines viewer data from set -top boxes with third-party data about consumers’ behavior, purchase history and interests. Targeted and segmented data collected by media generates powerful behavioral and actionable insights into audience engagement, content preference, curated content delivery, targeted advertising, segmented viewership, digital consumption patterns, viewership trends, etc. Leveraging the data and generating powerful and personalized audience engagement creates a new age for television. According to research from Deloitte, TV advertising as a medium still has the greatest impact on brand perception and value, as “TV allows businesses to tell their story, and we all love a good story.” Big Data develops a personalized and customized business model for the “first screen”.

4k to Immersive Viewing:

Television has moved way beyond its years of electro-mechanical rotating mirror-drum scanners and Cathode Ray Tubes (CRT). With multiple transformations since then, the latest to enrapture the box is Ultra HD. Ultra HD refers to two different resolutions: 4K Ultra HD (3840 ×2160px) and 8K Ultra HD (7680 × 4320 px). Today, 75% of households in the United States have at least one HDTV (Leichtman Research Group). Ultra HDTV’s is the natural progression. Several entertainment studios are preparing their footage for viewing in 4K Ultra HD. 8K Ultra HD is exactly 16 times the resolution of full HD. In 2014, NHK Japan's research laboratories successfully transmitted 8K television signals via a single standard UHF terrestrial broadcast channel over a distance of 27 km. NHK, plans to deploy 8K at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. 8K technology is still largely experimental at this point, and is still several years away from your living room.

Virtual Reality to usher in the next big thing in television? Participatory  TV might be the key to new age television viewing. Virtual is trending in video games, short films, music, movies, news and sports. Visual display introduces a new type of storytelling. Though broadcast television is at the HD and 3D platforms at the moment, virtual technology promises to take the experience to a higher level. It’s immersive with 360-degree video, live motion and it’s not just about improving the audio and video quality.  It is about a rich and enhanced visual experience.

Edward Miller at says “virtual brings the telehora concept to fruition – telehora is the being able to actually experience something from a distance. Though television is yet to go virtual, video with Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR has begun the virtual experience. Holographic images promises to create a true interactive experience within a simulated environment. Holographic images take you into a tele-immersive environment. Unlike 3D or Virtual Reality that display two dimensional projections, holographic image is the true 3 dimensional, free standing image. Holo TV/Holographic TV is essentially a real time, moving hologram. And though hologram technology has so far been restricted to sci-fi movies, Star Trek series or the Minority Report; MIT says that Holographic television could be in living rooms in the next 10 years.


Factors like expanding internet connectivity and broadband infrastructure, smartphones and live streaming apps, social networking and cutting-edge technology ...have transformed the television experience from linear to an era of “Anytime, Anywhere and Any Device” availability of content. Internet video doubled against linear TV in 2014. Internet video to TV traffic will be 17 percent of consumer Internet video traffic by 2019. Content delivery network traffic will deliver over half of all internet video traffic by 2019. By 2019, 72 percent of all Internet video traffic will cross content delivery networks. The volume, variety and velocity of content and data consumption, is increasingly paving the way for legacy content and the indispensability of investing in digital preservation, restoration, digitization and re-purposing of content to meet the exponential demands of the viewers.