Edward Borgerding, CEO of Abu Dhabi Media Company, has called on broadcasters to explore new opportunities in the growing field of digital media, during his keynote address at CABSAT 2009.
The keynote, entitled ‘The melting ice cube: Analogue business in the digital world’ warned broadcasters to rethink the way they approach content delivery in the modern age.
Borgerding argued that the growing trends of mobile, internet and social networking technology, were key areas that media companies should be looking at in order to grow their business in the era of digital technology.
He said the effect of piracy on the music industry should serve as a warning to broadcast companies worldwide, that the issue of changing technology should not be ignored.
“I believe the media industry will suffer the same fate as the music industry, especially when broadband speeds improve and it becomes as easy to download an entire movie as it is to download one song now,” forecasted Borgerding.
“But in the music industry, they have managed to offset the losses by increasing the number of major tours, which in some cases is worth many millions of dollars.
“This is a systemic problem affecting the entire media world, and we have to realise that a business can’t sustain itself trading digital dimes for analogue dollars.”
Growing 3G and broadband penetration rates in the Middle East were one factor that Borgerding predicted would drive the shift towards digital technology by media companies.
“It is important that broadcasters are constantly changing and making it easier to access content online,” he commented.
“Growing broadband penetration rates have already provoked a drop in newspaper revenue, and I believe it will eventually cannibalise television revenues as well.”
While he conceded broadband penetration rates remained quite low across the Middle East, he predicted that with 55% of the population under the age of 24, demand would ensure levels would soon be similar to those seen in the US and Europe.