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The Paley Centre for Media conference 2009 Hunt for the Next Big Thing provides expositions for several media companies redefining broadcast and advertising. Its interesting stuff… some more established companies such as Hulu and Boxee (both of whom will have a compelling offering once they sort the licensing issues – via some kind of ‘wholesaling’ model), and some lesser known. Boxee say ‘TV is just some screen connected to the internet’, and this, coupled with on demand, thread-based, social viewing could be the endgame for traditional distribution controlled, subsciption broadcasters – unless they act quickly. Virgin and Sky in the UK are working on this transition already, Apple launched their offering, and the BBC are busy with Canvas, which, despite their partnership issues, looks pretty promising. The key is understanding that the method of delivery will become irrelavent (airwaves, cable, whatever) and that the end-user value (and hugely valuable customer loyalty) comes through easy access to whatever niche the user seeks, coupled with open social ‘curatorship’ – where users become their own channels and can share playlists, content, influence and conversation.

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