Technology Record - Issue 26: Autumn 2022

166 F E ATUR E Microsoft’s Simon Crownshaw discusses how broadcasters are grappling with a rapidly shifting media landscape, as the growth of streaming platforms transforms the way in which television is consumed BY A L E X SM I TH future of television The advent and proliferation of streaming platforms has fundamentally changed the way in which we consume television. Where once people of all ages would spend hours watching new shows aired on a weekly basis on linear platforms, they now consume content in a myriad of different places, including everything from the traditional television screen to mobile phones. “The media landscape has gone through a shift based around a fundamental transformation in technology and the way content is delivered,” says Simon Crownshaw, director of worldwide media and entertainment strategy at Microsoft. “It’s now a lot easier for new players to impact the industry, because the barriers to entry are relatively low and the pace of innovation is high. You now have more content appearing through a variety of platforms that just isn’t produced in the same way that it was 20 years ago.” The shift of the media landscape poses an existential question for the traditional broadcasters that had previously dominated the sector. Adapting to the new ways in which people watch requires them to think differently about how they deliver their content. “It’s posed some really interesting challenges,” says Crownshaw. “The amount of time people spend viewing linear platforms is declining as more they move to new platforms and mobile devices. It’s therefore a challenge just trying to deliver the right content on the right device.” Furthermore, the life cycle of content has been significantly compressed, limiting the time it can capture the attention of viewers. “Content is here today, gone tomorrow,” says Crownshaw. “It’s talked about for 24 hours and then it’s already gone, whereas in the past it would have been talked about for weeks or even months. So, there’s a challenge around how quickly you can release content.” However, the boom in streaming technology has been accompanied The