TV super media? Not so much, says keynote speaker

Financial expert and author Paul Kedrosky takes the lectern at Deloitte's TMT Predictions event yesterday to make some forecasts of his own.

Even though the official Deloitte Canada prediction, released Tuesday, was that TV will hang on to superiority in the mediaverse, the day’s keynote speaker had a wildly different take.

Paul Kedrosky, an investor and business writer who made his name in the tech sector, said he believes that TV use will decline as it becomes a medium only used for live-event broadcasts. Eventually, he said, TV’s go-to status for those events will diminish, too, as sports events and other ‘must see’ programs are increasingly streamed online.

‘It’s changing much faster than any of us like to think, yet the advertisers are still schlepping over and spending money there, and I think it’s because it feels safe,’ he told the large audience at Deloitte Canada’s annual TMT Predictions presentation, the first of 11 on the organization’s cross-country tour.

‘I don’t know how many of my friends have said, ‘I don’t know why I have cable anymore,” he added.

However, before Kedrosky’s keynote, Duncan Stewart, the report’s co-author and director of research, technology, media and telecommunications at Deloitte Canada, told the audience that TV viewership continued to grow and wouldn’t be falling off any time soon.

The differing opinions of the morning’s two speakers sparked debate come Q&A time, when an audience member inquired as to the disparate opinions.

Stewart defended his position, saying, ‘Every year, we say TV hours cannot increase, but every year they do… I can’t understand why people pay as much as they do or watch as much as they do, but they do.’

Kedrosky added, ‘There used to be no alternative. Now, an awful lot of the stuff, I can get for $8 per month on Netflix, and $8 instead of $80 or $100 is hugely compelling.’

Kedrosky also included in his speech a prediction that Google will be seriously diminished in the near future because it’s ‘eating its own tail’ by the way its algorithms rank sites and by the explosion of SEO, which often makes it more difficult for users to find what they’re looking for.

‘The replacement for Google is not a better, faster Google, it’s curation,’ he said. ‘Curation is the new search.’

A lot of the curation will come as a by-product of social media interactions and the huge amount of online content they generate, as people discuss products and services with their friends and followers. But the worth of that could already be sabotaged, Kedrosky admitted, as some companies have started paying people to spam social networks to alter the metrics.

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