TV and Leisure
– from mass media to mass personalisation

Presentation given
by Peter Bates, pjb Associates


The television has probably been the dominant form of leisure activity for nearly fifty years – with viewers passively watching what a small number of broadcasters felt they should watch. Digital TV has started to create a lot more choice and enable people to start to interact with the content. But, this is only the beginning. Over the next few years increasingly people will be able to have access to video-rich content on demand and accessible at a time convenient to them through a PC, a mobile device as well as through the TV. They will also be able to select and aggregate content using RSS feeds according to their own areas or communities of interest – thus creating their own personalised TV world utilising thousands or millions of resources including user-generated content and video-blogs. All this is becoming possible through broadband TV or IPTV. In addition, TV-based applications are also being developed to enable friends and family to remotely share a common experience like a live football match or holiday videos through the TV.

As yet this appears to be a totally unexplored area of research – but one that could have vast social and economic implications to the lifestyles of millions on the way TV is consumed – thus also impacting on the world of advertising. This presentation will provide an overview of such developments and open up the debate on its impact on the leisure and lifestyles of individuals and the broader impact that it might also have on the way that video-rich content is paid for. It will argue that despite threats, new opportunities exist within the “experience economy” for enhancing lifestyles centred around people’s multiple “communities of interest” that sometimes only exist for a few hours but could last a lifetime.

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Last updated 12 December 2005