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TV in a mobile world

Can broadcasting make the step into an increasingly mobile world? Roland Beutler discusses technology and business models in the context of public service remits, mobile network operators and the new world of 5G

TV in a mobile world

Broadcasting has played a very important role in society for decades – in particular, public service broadcasting (PSB) has contributed greatly to cultural diversity. The remit of public service broadcasters to serve all social milieus with a huge range of programmes – news, sports, fiction, children’s TV, education – has helped to provide social cohesion in Europe for a long time. Pan-European content such as the Eurovision Song Contest or live transmissions of big sports events are still the most popular programmes, while there is also a plethora of regional content targeting particular areas or languages.

However, once societies started to enter the digital era the picture changed. New content providers exploiting completely new technologies are competing with incumbent broadcasting companies to win the public’s favour. In a globalised media market becoming dominated by the internet, it is getting harder for public service broadcasters to maintain their market share.

Broadcasters reacted by developing new programme formats. They started offering better quality and new types of services. Today the content offer of broadcasting companies ranges from traditional linear 24/7 radio and TV programmes to all sorts of nonlinear content, ie. time-shifted, on-demand podcasts and social media. Many radio and TV shows of today would not be feasible without social media integration.

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