Kate Bulkley, Media Analyst.

Introduction: Trend setters

By Kate Bulkley

The Guardian

January 14th, 2008

The growth in digital devices and rising broadband penetration is causing headaches as well as creating new opportunities for content owners, platform providers and technology companies alike, not to mention regulators.

In this special supplement, we look at some of the strongest trends in technology, media and telecommunications with a special interest in how content owners are navigating the new digital worlds, both online and on mobile.

Online virtual worlds and video gaming are becoming targets for some of the world's biggest media companies and Hollywood studios, while big telecommunications companies from France Telecom's Orange to BT are bundling their broadband offers with on-demand TV services.

Media companies are testing out a variety of business models to tap into new digital revenue streams. We look at on-demand business models and at the reason why the UK's biggest broadcasters are launching an online destination site for their TV content.

The growth of social networking sites has attracted content owners to work with them to "socialise" their content offers to make them more participatory with users. Certainly this is a trend on mobile phones, which are being used for much more than making calls, attracting both content providers and handset manufacturers to "go direct" to mobile customers.

We also hear from the head of a technology company who has moved to China to take advantage of the huge growth expectations in what is becoming an increasingly important global market. And finally we ask several executives to give us their view on the future of technology and convergence in the digital world.


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