Quickstream Blog

Broadcasting sector is dead. Why do I still work for it?

I work in an industry that is in decline. This decline has been going on for two decades. How it started from my professional perspective.

Phase 1 (2009-2012) - Video on demand will kill it all. Linear TV is coming to its end

When we established 4vod.tv in 2009, we were convinced that traditional linear TV had no future. We already had experience with streaming and we felt the potential of IP technology and Internet. The media revolution was lurking around the corner and as innovators and we wanted to be a part of it. We eagerly set about building a VOD platform for broadcasters. The platform was ready but it turned out that business models for VOD were not yet ready for it. We were too early. Walking around the market we came across a foreign client who wanted to launch a new linear channel in the Polish market and we had all the tools to help him. The German broadcaster is still our client today and we have been providing a service for him for over 14 years. As far as I know business is still going well for him.

This customer was followed by others and our server room began to fill up with playouts with good a bit old SDI coaxial cables.

Phase 2 (2012-2018) - OTT is coming, cord cutting is gaining on importance. Traditional cable and linear tv is dead

In 2011 on TVN's request (part of Discovery), we started testing various streaming solutions. One was streaming on iPad (using the legendary Wowza server). When we began watching the TVN24 news channel, it struck us how convenient it was. Watching the news on a tablet screen was very convenient and sometimes much better than watching tv on a bigger 40-inch TV. We knew OTT services and linear channels may soon become available everywhere on every device. We came up with Internet cable service Netvi, later rebranded to Videostar and today known as Pilot WP. In a short time, the service became the leader of the Polish OTT market with more than 1 million registered accounts. What a paradox?! A company that was supposed to create VOD systems invented a spinoff and a service to watch linear TV.

Pilot WP is still working today and is doing well, as far as I know.

Phase 3 (2019-2023) Oh no, this is the end for sure. Netflix is coming. Who is watching television these days? Our grandparents, for sure!

The Video on Demand services offered by telecom operators and cable networks could not break through to a broad audience consciousness. Meanwhile, a new player emerged in the market. Netflix started offering great content for a reasonable price. It became a worldwide success and paved the way for others. The coronavirus lockdown accelerated the change in media consumption habits.

Who watches television in the streaming age? Surprisingly viewers still enjoy a ‘lean back’ viewing experience, so the industry adapted to it by inventing FAST channels. Free, ad-supported linear channels with targeted ads and curated content. Great idea! Everybody talks about FAST channels today, and FAST channels were the biggest topic on NAB Show this year. A new gold rush just emerged!

After 14 years, we are still working with customers, and we offer the best possible tools to look for gold in the live and linear content space.

Find out more about fast channels here.