The findings of the Future of Innovation in Television Technology (FITT) taskforce were released yesterday at the DTG Summit in London.
The 18-month collaborative industry project’s findings were introduced by Minister for Culture, Communications and the Creative Industries Ed Vaizey MP (pictured). He said: “The FITT report helps to clarify a number of important issues, opportunities and challenges facing the UK television industry. We will take careful note of the specific recommendations for government and will work closely with the industry-led Next Generation TV Planning Programme.”
The report covers new reviews of Consumer Trends, the Evolution of Devices and Applications, Computing for the Creative Industries, Data Management, and Future Networks and Infrastructure. The Steering Group made thirteen recommendations based on the evidence from this work. These include the establishment of a Leaders Assembly to guide a Next Generation TV Technology Planning Programme; a Technology Advocacy Programme for innovators to share newly-developed technologies and applications; and a cross industry working group to respond to the challenges of big data in television.
Many of the recommendations were guided by consumer trend data and projections that showed that although viewing to the main television set remains stable, it is increasingly augmented by viewers choosing to watch on any device, any time both inside and outside of the home. The taskforce believes that these trends coupled with the increasing connectivity of devices, people and content creates massive business potential for UK media companies. However, consumer anxieties about privacy remain the biggest barrier to realising these ambitions, and this highlights the need for transparency from providers – potentially delivered via an industry-led review of self-regulation – and digital literacy programmes for consumers.
Chairman of the FITT taskforce and of the DTG Dr David Docherty commented in response to the report and recommendations: “The UK TV industry is an amazing success story, with an enviable heritage of innovating in television technology. But it’s facing unprecedented challenges to its ability to compete, let alone lead. The FITT report is testament to the resolve that exists within the industry to deliver innovation that consumers and viewers want and to keep the UK TV technology industry globally competitive.”