Over the past eight years the IPTV World Forum has been the key global platform leading the debate, development and deployment of IP delivered TV. The show started as small conference for an elite group of visionary industry pioneers, but over time the show has gained momentum, delivering sustained year on year growth. As the industry expanded and diversified, it has come to represent an even more vibrant and dynamic market than could have ever have been imagined at that founding event.
The industry has become more diverse in a number of ways. It has diversified in the number and type of companies that offer a TV service delivered or enhanced though IP. It is no longer the sole domain of telcos: cablecos, satellite and terrestrial broadcasters are all seeking to add compelling enhancements to their services through internet connectivity.
So whilst “managed end-to-end telco IPTV” will always be at the core of our coverage, our industry is now about so much more. The business and technical challenges that our community is now wrestling with involve using the flexibility and addressability of IP to deliver a wide array of personalised services. These range from smart TVs and TV apps, to OTT and multiplatform TV services, advanced content discovery and UI, new generations of advertising, the connected home, and the CDNs that underpin all of these.
For the last two years this event has carried a slightly evolved brand to reflect this change, with an ampersand inserted between “IP” and “TV”. For the first year this was somewhat subliminally inserted in our logo, and for 2012 far more clearly highlighted in a modernised logo. We believe this has more accurately reflected the scope of the event, and the focus of our customers, in a market where no clear consensus on new terminology existed.
However we have been clear for some years that in time the brand would need to more fully evolve. IPTV as a terminology is now becoming part of our industry heritage, and – to some parts of our market at least – is associated with their competitors or alternatives.
As we transition our brand we believe it is important not to align ourselves with one particular interest group. Our market is awash with alternative terminologies, each with their particular nuanced meanings and specific advocates. We believe our future – and that of the industry – is to bring together those different strands, and more, as we develop a world of connected entertainment. It is important to not only capture the mood of the market, but also to provide a wide enough frame of reference to make the event inclusive of all sectors who might wish to participate in this exciting marketplace.
At the same time, we are also seeking to harness the increasingly universal recognition of certain key industry terms. In recent months there has been a mounting media consensus around the term of connected TV, consolidating an increasing wave of interest. It seems that hardly a day passes when you can’t pick up a broadsheet newspaper – or click on a mainstream news website – without seeing feature on connected TV. It would be perverse of us to ignore this trend.
The TV Connect brand will more clearly reflect the incredibly rich meeting place that the show has now become. It is an inclusive brand that recognises the diversity of those now participating in the event. These participants come not only from telcos, cable providers, broadcasters and ISPs, but also from consumer electronics and smart TV companies, content providers, application developers, or other connected entertainment providers such as gaming and music. A simple glance at the keynotes for the 2012 show evidences this range – from Twitter to MTV, from Sony to NBC and the BBC – and connected entertainment experiences are central to the discussion.
The new brand also echoes an industry that has come of age, moving away from an emphasis on technology to one on services and experiences. Whilst at its core our coverage is about IP-enabled TV, it is a testament to the work of the past few years that many of those now speaking at the show are “blind” to technology, in the sense that they take the connectivity platform as a given. The focus is now on service innovation, and building compelling connected entertainment experiences – blending platforms and media to enrich, to personalise, to differentiate, and ultimately to monetize.
As this industry comes of age, we move forward with a brand that more fully reflects the diversity of this dynamic market. We look forward to welcoming you to TV Connect, here are Olympia, on 19th-21st March 2013.
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