The TV industry has as little as two years to create viable digital businesses or face a version of the “iTunes moment” that saw the music business cede the online future to Apple, according to Ashley Highfield of Microsoft UK. He believed the reluctance advertisers feel to advertise on sites such as Facebook will soon be a “non-issue”, putting more pressure on broadcasters’ advertising revenues. “Once this happens the shift of spending from TV to web will accelerate even more,” he said, giving the Futureview address at the MediaGuardian Edinburgh International Television Festival. To drive revenues from web video, media companies need to embrace controversial targeted advertising techniques, such as behavioural targeting based on users’ web viewing habits, with the ad inventory going into an auction-style model similar to the system Google operates, according to Highfield.
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