BBC Worldwide: “TV is likely to become less social”

Dan Heaf, EVP for digital at BBC Worldwide

Dan Heaf, chief digital officer at BBC Worldwide

Dan Heaf, chief digital officer at BBC Worldwide, on why he thinks TV watching is going to become less – rather than more – social over the coming years, and the impact that contemporary services like Spotify will have on the personalised TV guides of the future.

Dan will be speaking at the TV:Xperience event taking place in New York City on July 15th-17th. For more information and to register, please visit

Dual screening - “Contrary to most popular commentary, TV is likely to become less social over the next few years,” says Dan. ”Watching television together was for many generations in many homes a principal family activity. Today it is rapidly becoming a solitary experience undertaken on personal screens.

“Deloitte predicts that in 2013, about ten percent of households in developed countries and about 3% of households in developing countries will dual video screen their television consumption on a monthly basis. That is, they will have two or more screens, most likely of different sizes, showing television programmes at the same time and in the same room.”

Social recommendations and navigation - “Today, finding good things to watch isn’t easy or enjoyable and this problem is made all the more acute as the volume of available content online grows. One key to solving this problem will be new ways audiences are able to customise their devices to fit their individual needs.

“What we choose to watch on our various displays (high quality LCDs, holographic projections, handheld devices etc) will from now on will be more determined by you and your preferences than by network television schedules.

“Data collected from a range of digital sources (viewing data, personal interests, friends recommendations) will provide a contextualised and personalised EPG. Contemporary services like Spotify hint at what these services might look like.”

Participation - “This shift from distribution to circulation signals a movement towards a more participatory model of culture and content creation. This model which sees the public not as simple consumers of reconstructed messages but as people who are shaping, sharing, reframing and remixing media in content in ways which might not have been previously imagined.

“Perhaps there’s no better platform to see this in action today than on YouTube, where through the Original Channels initiative professional broadcasters and producers are learning to collaborate with the YT creative community and produce content that responds directly to audiences feedback on a far faster cadence than traditional broadcast.”

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