WILL LO­CAL TV SUF­FER IF NET­FLIX (OR A LO­CAL AL­TER­NA­TIVE) IS IN­TRO­DUCED IN SOUTH AFRICA? WHICH NET­WORKS/SER­VICES WILL BE HIT THE HARD­EST?

Finweek English Edition - - INSIGHT -

Ian Risjdijk, a me­dia pro­fes­sor at the Univer­sity of Cape Town, thinks it is a case of both yes and no: All me­dia adapt to chang­ing au­di­ence pat­terns and in the case of Net­flix and other stream­ing me­dia, there are other fac­tors to con­sider, par­tic­u­larly in SA. What ef­fect will dig­i­tal broad­cast have on South African view­ing pat­terns and will band­width ( i mprov­ing, but still limited com­pared to Europe and the Far East) limit the ef­fec­tive­ness of stream­ing me­dia? We run the risk some­times of an­tic­i­pat­ing be­hav­iour based on those who have the most ac­cess to ser­vices and tech­nol­ogy where this ob­vi­ously does not ap­ply to the large ma­jor­ity of users.

The grow­ing com­plex­ity of me­dia broad­cast does not just mean in­no­va­tion and whole­sale change; there are now more op­tions for view­ers than ever be­fore and more con­tent to ac­cess, so I think we’re look­ing at a di­ver­si­fied mar­ket. One thing that con­ven­tional satel­lite tele­vi­sion con­sumers do (and which tele­vi­sion view­ers have al­ways done) is browse through the chan­nels or surf. Tele­vi­sion is about view­ing be­hav­iour as much as it is about the num­ber of ser­vices you have and the con­tent that you ac­cess. So my sense is no, but TV net­works will def­i­nitely change the way they en­gage with their au­di­ences and, im­por­tantly, gen­er­ate rev­enue from ad­ver­tis­ing.

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