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Television 2.0

This is a spin-off term from Web 2.0 and refers to the convergence between Internet services and television.

The term has been around for a couple of years, but is only slowly becoming known outside the business, though the rush of conferences currently being held to discuss the future of digital media may cause it to appear in newspapers from time to time. The key word here is “convergence”, one in the minds of communications companies these days, which are working towards what they sometimes call quadruple-play services (Internet, television, fixed-line telephone and mobile telephone), exploiting the possibilities of linking them together.

“It was only a matter of time,” one commentator wrote in May 2006, “before the Internet changed TV in a way more profound than color or cable.” The World Wide Web is seen as the new distribution medium for TV; companies hope to persuade their subscribers to download programmes, which can be viewed on personal computers or mobile phones, not even needing a television set. One problem is the vast amount of video that is potentially available; one challenge will be to create a reliable Internet-based filtering and search system so online viewers can find both what they want and what they might like if they only knew it existed.

But the biggest problem, everyone agrees, is how to keep the money flowing in when there are no commercial breaks in the programmes the new Television 2.0 audience is viewing. One commentator said at a media conference recently that the key issue was “revenue, revenue, revenue”.

A room full of executives planning “television 2.0” suddenly realised that the internet can come to the TV set, as well as vice versa. And panicked a bit.

Guardian, 12 Feb. 2007

Explore the new frontier of digital content and entertainment — user generated media, television 2.0 and the fully connected universe.

Business Wire, 29 Sep. 2006

Page created 24 Feb. 2007

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Last modified: 24 February 2007.