Archive for January, 2011

How South Korea has embraced new technology and what this means for the UK.

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

Further to the previous post concerning the use of technology in Korea, the Royal Television Society have since posted a interesting article about recent advances within the South Korean media industry that raise a number of relevant debates.  This article can be accessed here: http://www.rts.org.uk/Info_page_two_pic_2_det.asp?art_id=8359&sec_id=3920. As discussed earlier, it is not a straightforward matter to use South Korea as an exemplary when it comes to the impact of super-fast broadband.  This article illustrates the complex cultural differences that influence how Korea have developed and adapted to new technologies.  It is our suggestion that closer, detailed research is needed to further illuminate the cultural factors at work before speculating that the emulation of Korea’s technological infrastructure may engender similar rates of convergence in the UK.

Viewer behaviour: What are the questions we should be asking?

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

We have been extremely busy over the past year, with Phase 4 of our longitudinal study now underway, but getting the funding for the project was by no means easy.  In many ways it was a case of mismatched agendas that contributed largely to the hindrance of Phase 4.  It seems a significant paradigm shift is needed when it comes to the way in which television viewer behaviour is generally perceived if our contributions are to be more widely accepted.  Such a shift could be prompted by the industry’s consideration of a few pertinent pointers; pointers that address the important issues that have been repeatedly raised by our ethnographic research.  These follow:

1.    The claimed behaviour of audiences is consistently less than reliable: people frequently do not remember what they watch, or how they use their technology, and if they cannot remember, they will tend to hazard a guess.

2.    Interviews or online questionnaires with individuals only provide insights into private viewing behaviour. 

3.    Quasi-ethnography involving the presence of an observer may prompt a sense of technical prowess in the participant, making them more inclined to discuss and use the technology available to them – and inevitably distorting the perspective of habitual viewing behaviour.

4.    Similarly, lab-based experiments may distort results.  Once again, the focus is on the individual, while displacing a product into an alien setting is likely to affect the way in which it is used.

5.    The development of new products may benefit from further exploration of the emergent ideas about audience behaviour.  In the long-term, the brands and the technology may enjoy greater success as a result of the initial consideration of a more nuanced perspective.

The issues affecting the future of in-flight entertainment arise much closer to home

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

In May 2010 ACB attended a conference held in Frankfurt organised by the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX, formally known as the World Airline Entertainment Association or WAEA). Our presence at the Single Focus Workshop was particularly valued for our insights into convergence, VoD, PVR use and the application of these insights to the development of Inflight Entertainment.

Considering APEX have recently debated the merits of wireless media players with which passengers can personalise their inflight entertainment, the relevance of our research in to the demand for customisation-enabled viewing platforms cannot be understated.  Our insights about the kind of content viewers want to watch may also have some influence on the choice of programming that is presented to airline passengers.

Like us, APEX faces the task of differentiating between the actual and the claimed behaviour of viewers. Alongside our contribution last May, other companies presented research into the usage of VoD and Live Stream TV. However, crucial to the success of APEX future ventures is the consideration of what people actually watch, not just what they say they want to watch .