A Conversation with Glenn Pedersen, Chief Innovation Officer, Vimond.

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by Kelly Moulton

I sat down with my good friend Glenn for a conversation about the future the other day — the future of TV and on demand video.

One of the key aspects of course is advertising dollars — and broadcasters fighting to keep those ad dollars on their programming (and not see it abandon them for Facebook and Google).

Digital beat TV in 2017. 

To be specific: Digital ad spending reached $209 billion worldwide — 41 percent of the market — in 2017, while TV brought in $178 billion — 35 percent of the market — in 2017. That’s according to Magna, the research arm of media buying firm IPG Mediabrands

In order to fight that fight for ad dollars (consumer attention) Glenn is working with customers on “building a linear experience within an OTT environment.” What does that look like really? 

Build a linear channel out of a VOD archive. That´s an easy first step. “But that´s not really the end goal — it´s just the first thing you think about when you are coming from a broadcast environment.” And technically, frankly, not that difficult.

But is it really what the end user ultimately wants? Glenn doesn´t think so. But it is still a noble first step. We must keep iterating while keeping the platform stable.

Glenn made a great point about Consumer Choice in our talk. This is a topic we are nearly obsessed about at Vimond these days — Consumer Choice Fatigue. Something almost everybody can relate to — the feeling of going home on a Friday night, sitting down with a beer and a bowl of popcorn, picking up your remote (with little to no enthusiasm), turning to your wife or husband and saying, “Oh crap, what do we watch next?” You´re in that dreaded in between series state.

Or as Glenn puts it much more elegantly, “we have lost serendipity with all this choice.” Trusting an editor to give you something that you did not know you would like.

Choice is overrated.

 

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So joining a broadcast in progress, but having the option as well to start, stop, go back, branch out, etc. 

Bringing back the serendipity. But keeping the individual control.

Glenn and I discussed that right now (both of us having young kids), the closest thing to this joy of serendipity is Children´s TV. And my children (being digital natives) actually complain at first that they cannot control the TV experience. They want to each go running to their own corners with their own ipads and watch their own stuff. But we insist that the only TV option after dinner and before bedtime is professionally programmed Children´s TV (we read books too btw). And after a few minutes they stop complaining, settle down, relax and drink in Disney, Nick, NRK, etc.

I asked Glenn how we are stretching the Vimond platform to meet these creative demands.

In a word, Personal TV. Joining a “personalcast” that is indeed a programmed playlist for me, based on my historic viewing habits (plus directly expressed interests) instead of a “broadcast” that everyone is watching. But within that personalcast is of course selected live, too, that indeed millions might be watching at the same time.

“But we don’t just want a playlist powered by algorithms, to be very clear, the brands themselves need to take more control” Glenn emphasizes.

Bring back good ole fashion tv programming, not only personalized algorithms. 

So:

Personalized experiences combined with broadcast programming experience since 1928. 

That is the future of TV according to Glenn, according to Vimond. 

 

 

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