Rio de Janeiro, 13 November 2007- Can there be quality on the internet? Where would you ‘surf’ to find independent information that voices pluralism and respects cultural diversity?
According to a study released today by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), audiences tend to get this information from public service broadcasters’ (PSBs) web-sites which are among the most popular sources of online information. On average, a fifth of all internet users in Europe visit an EBU Member web-site at least once a month.
The study was presented today at a Best Practice Forum organised in the framework of the UN Internet Governance Forum, which is taking place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Notwithstanding the legal and budgetary restrictions, PSBs have been increasingly developing ways of extending and applying their remits to accommodate their audiences interested in Online services. As a result, almost all EBU Member sites rank in the top 50 most visited web properties in their respective countries.
Furthermore, although Online video consumption seems to be a plus and does not replace normal TV viewing, today there is a clear and strong demand for online video, particularly for technically high quality content, including for high definition content. This is where PSBs can counterbalance the gatekeepers of mass audience. As an independent source of content and information, PSBs are pillars of pluralism on the Internet.
Broadcasters are evaluating the best ways to meet this demand through means which include Online video, in partnerships, and by developing their own web sites. However, in doing so, they may face the challenge of reaching audiences via the major popular Internet portal sites, and at the same time, building loyalty and reach for their own sites.
Broadcasters are also considering carefully their participation in the new platforms in terms of copyright issues, capacity problems, management of the public service remit, and future business trends. To what extent will on-line video consumption be a short term phenomenon, or a prolonged trend that warrants a strategic shift ?
According to the study, many of these dilemmas may be resolved next year. 2008 will be a pivotal year for Online video as all key players will refine strategies and create new business models. As for PSBs, many trial and experimentation periods will soon be over. By 2008 broadcasters should have a clear web strategy, which includes alliances or investments in their own web sites.
More information on the findings of the study is available at: www.ebu.ch/igf
NOTE TO EDITORS:
European Broadcasting Union (EBU)
The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) is the largest association of national broadcasters in the world (75 active Members, 43 associate Members). The EBU helps public service broadcasters to deliver unique high quality programming to their audiences. It offers Members technical, operational and legal services, and coordinates a growing supply of quality content for radio, television and new platforms. It provides Members with information and analysis on media trends, and training designed to meet their needs. The EBU works to secure recognition of the crucial role of public service broadcasters in the digital audiovisual landscape. More information on: www.ebu.ch
Ms. Michelle Roverelli
EBU Senior Communications Officer
Tel +41 22 717 2204
GSM: +41 79 647 1724