Friday, December 11, 2009

Old Media Still Struggling with Our Broadband Future

Greetings from "Realising Our Broadband Future" forum in Sydney (you can participate online). Abigail E. Thomas, Head, Strategic Innovation & Development, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, is talking about how the ABC sees the broadband future. Unfortunately the ABC seems to see this future as little video clips from TV put on a web site. The ABC is making several bold experiments online, but seem to be fixated with old fashioned TV. What the ABC seems to have difficulty with is joining up all the disparate technologies into one current whole. As an example, the ABC is starting to provide radio via Digital Audio Broadcasting, but doesn't provide the same radio via the audio channels already available on digital TV. This would be a very simple to do, but the ABC doesn't do it, perhaps because they see "radio" and "TV" as two separate media.

What ABC needs to do is restructure itself for the new environment: its all bits. The challenge is to work out what business the ABC is in. The convergence of technology would suggest that the ABC is there to collect and create content, which then can be available in the form of text, audio and video. The ABC needs to therefore restructure itself for that environment.

ps: Perhaps I was a little harsh with the ABC. The next speakers were Stuart Tucker, GM Marketing Aussie Home Loans & Iain McDonald, Director, Amnesia. They bored the audience rigid with a tedious history of how Aussie Home Loans uses the web for marketing. Such a presentation might be f interest to marketing executives who had not heard of the web before and were not familiar with its history, but this was a waste of their time and our time at a broadband conference. If this is how Aussie Home Loans think they should do promotion of their business, then this is not a business I would want to invest in.

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