A report published by IBM predicts the end of TV as we know it, with a generational chasm emerging between the passive mass audience and leading-edge consumers adopting an individualised viewing experience.

The report observes that consumers have been migrating to more specialised, niche content via cable and multichannel offerings. Now, with increasing competition from convergence in television and telecommunications, the industry is confronting unparalleled complexity, dynamic change and pressure to innovate.

This will lead to a two tier market, with one consumer segment remaining passive viewers, while others search for a more individualised media experience through multiple channels.

The IBM study concludes that “players within the TV industry sit on the precipice of an impending upheaval that promises to be no less dramatic that that experienced by the music industry”.

The report, published to coincide with the annual convention of the National Association of Television Program Executives, reaches broadly similar conclusions to our own publication on the IPTV network television revolution.

The authors offer six executive recommendations.

Segment: Invest in divergent strategies to optimise services for different consumer types.

Innovate: Widen consumer choice with new business and pricing models, taking risks today to avoid losing position in the long term.

Experiment: Develop, trial, refine, rollout and repeat, while continuing to study real-life consumer preferences.

Mobilize: Create seamless content mobility and ensure easy synchronisation across devices.

Open: Drive open content delivery platforms to optimise content and revenue exploitation.

Re-organise: Reconfigure business against future requirements around core competencies and outsource non-core components.

The end of television as we know it: A future industry perspective is published by the IBM Institute for Business Value.