Parks Associates' Connections 2009 is underway in Santa Clara. The first morning started out with a presentation by Tricia Parks and our very own CEO, Vipin Jain who provided lots of insight into what makes buyers of consumer electronics tick.
My first meeting of the day was with Jan Steenkamp of Irdeto, a company better known outside of the United States that has been involved in the business of "conditional access" TV programming since there was such a thing. They provide cable and other providers with the technology to encrypt and manage billing and access to premium programming or Pay TV.
Jan has a high level of expertise in the whole area of TV distribution and viewer behavior. The theme of this year's conference is the Connected TV. Jan and I talked about the transition from traditional TV distribution to Internet distribution of TV (IP TV) and what happens when you not only have the hundred plus cable or satellite channels but thousands of Internet channels as well.
One of Jan's company's side projects has been an RSS feed for TV programming. The standard is described at RSS-TV.
We had a lively conversation in the Press Room about premium programming and what viewers are willing to pay for? The same discussion is taking place everywhere around newspaper articles, music and just about any other kind of content.
Jan Steenkamp agrees that not everything can be gated but also feels not everything should be free. He likes to group programs into three categories:
1. Free content like user generated programming
2. Advertising based programs like TV shows
3. Premium programming like special sporting events, blockbuster movies, etc.
Jan and I agree that the days of linear TV watching is over. TV viewers want to watch what they want, when they want it and much of it will come over the Internet.
The idea of the connected TV has generated a lot of excitement and discussion at this years conference.