Welcome TV 2.0

At the Screen Producers Association conference
 Sarah Rhodes

It is the era of unbundled content. The middleman is being cut out of the negotiations and TVs are being sold with a broadband cable. Welcome TV 2.0. The Screen Producers Association of Australia conference presented an exciting yet highly competitive outlook for film and TV producers in Sydney last week.

Dusting the TV

Screen media consumption in Australia
Film Victoria Digital media Dept Brad Giblin
TV – 32%
Mobile – 31%
Games – 30%
Online – 32%

Currently consumers watch 55% local content on TV compared with just 5% on mobile devices, games and online. Only 5% of the films and TV shows shared through the bit torrent file-sharing software are Australian.

Viewers can watch video on demand on their TV sets, mobile devices, like X Boxes, iPads, as well as on their computers. Apps are now being designed to make TV a social experience, from social networking to playing games. The most popular way of accessing titles at the moment is illegal downloads, so distributors are making the most of a bad situation. They are tracking where people are downloading content using bit torrent file-sharing software so they know where to target DVD sales.

ABC’s Head of TV, Kim Dalton spoke about convergence at the SPAA gala dinner. He was pleased the Government is considering a review of its convergence policy. he said: ‘And so for television one aspect of this next review that will perhaps be more important than any other will be the impact of convergence on our ability to continue to deliver distinctly Australian cultural products and outcomes.’ His speech followed Screen Australia’s announcement that it has set up a fund to support TV projects that are released on more than one digital platform.

Andrew Urban, publisher of Urban Cinefile magazine, believes Australian films need to be made available through online stores to compete in this new environment. At the moment iTunes and Amazon will not deal with small production houses or distributors so Australian films are being sold through American distributors. Andrew believes it is time to set-up an aggregation service that acts as a united shopfront for Australian content. Somersault is a good example of innovative film distribution across multiple platforms, like iTunes, Amazon, Net Fliz, Jaman, The Auteurs (now Mubi) and Caspa on Demand.

Read ScreenHub for comprehensive coverage of what was discussed at SPAA last week.