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Innovation has transformed TV, says Claude-Yves Robin (2/2)

Why has TV changed so much in the last 20 years? What will future innovations in TV look like? These are some of the questions that I touched upon during my discussion with Claude-Yves Robin, the former managing director of France 2 and France 5, two major TV channels in France.

I/ Claude-Yves’s Bio

Claude-Yves Robin

Patrick de Carolis, President of France Télévisions, appointed him, the 25th of august 2005, France 5 General Manager and appointed him alongside with this mission on April 8th 2008 France 4 General Manager. On January 4th 2010, he was appointed France Télévisions Group General Manager in charge of Marketing and Communication. Rémy Pflimlin, President of France Télévisions appointed him on August 23rd 2010 General Manager of France 2, the main state owned channel with a share of 15% on national TV market. In 2012, he left France 2, to create his own consultancy company in the fields of culture-, digital-, entertainment- change management.

Most of our discussion revolved around why TV has changed in the last 20 years and what innovation will look like in the future.  

II/ Changes in the way we consume TV are the result of innovation

In the past, there was only one layer on a TV signal. Today, in one signal, there can be multiple layers. For example:

  • one layer may be for the TV show itself,
  • another layer would for be a written transcript of the TV show which could be useful for people that have hearing problems,
  • another layer could be for translation the show in other languages
  • and finally another layer could be for additional information pertaining to the content of the TV show

The sophistication of signals really changed the way we watch TV. Now, a given TV show can be watched in very different ways depending on what signal consumers decided to activate, whether it’s transcripts, translations, or additional information, among others. So this started to enrich the TV experience.

Tablets are provident additional content to consumers. Tablets provided households with a second screen in households in addition to the TV and the computer. Consumers watch TV and what have their tablets at hand to get additional information on a show they are watching on their TV. Viewers can also share ideas and comments via Twitter or Facebook from their different homes, as if they were in the same living-room. The Apps of the broadcasters on tablets and smartphones include Facebook and twitter connection for quite one year.

Today, TV is in a strange spot. They provide a lot of video and audio content. But, search engines still need to develop the capability to index audio and video content. Because, search engines are not able to index audio and video content that TVs create, TV content tends to be lost somewhere on the web.

III/ Innovation has transformed TV

In the future, innovation must merge the benefits of the internet and the TV and address a $600 billion market. Ideally, the connected TV will provide the benefits of the TV and those of the Internet. As a show is broadcasted, the connected TV will provide additional information and images (such as back stage) on topics that are being covered during the show.

In 2020, it’s expected that 50 billion terminals will be connected to the internet on earth. Terminals will enable to billions of consumers to access, share and comment images around the world. The market of images will be a $600 billion market in Europe in 2020, according Thierry Drilhon, managing director of Euro Media Group. Internet players such as Google, Facebook and Amazon may take a portion of the market; TV players must take a significant portion of the market as well.

This concludes a conversation I had with Claude-Yves Robin.


Further Readings:

  • For a description of innovations in TV at the Consumer Electronics Show, please refer here
  • For a presentation of innovations in consumer electronics, please refer here
  • For a presentation of disruptive innovation in social TV, please refer to this video
  • For a great blog on innovation in TV, please refer here
  • For an interesting article dealing with digital innovation and TV, please refer here




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