Jonas Iversen Vice President, Policy and Strategy, DR (Denmark)
Danish broadcaster DR hopes to play a key role in shaping the media landscape in Scandinavia. Jonas Iversen, DR vice president of policy and strategy, explains how the broadcaster will adopt a more multi-faceted strategy in delivering content and forecasts the impact that new players in the media space will have on the regional video landscape.
VIA SATELLITE: What trends do you see emerging in Denmark’s broadcasting market during the next 12 months?
Iversen: It has been very interesting to see NetFlix and HBO announce initiatives in Denmark. We have Apple TV and I suspect Google TV will launch something soon. It will be exciting to see what impact international media companies will have in a market such as Denmark, and how fast they can adapt to the broadcasting market. They will make offers into the market, but it remains to be seen if they strike a chord with users. From what we have seen with the introduction of new media technologies, the amount of media time is increasing, but new media does not necessarily cannibalize existing time. Having said that, I also know that there are only so many hours in the day you can view content. What I have seen from recent research in the United Kingdom is that there is brand awareness of NetFlix, but not much actual use of it yet. It is very difficult to predict how things will change. Everyone is looking at this kind of iPhone move for television to see if things come together in a whole new way, the way it did with the iPhone, but I just don’t see it yet.
VIA SATELLITE: Will DR implement any major infrastructure or technology projects during the next year?
Iversen: We are not looking to implement any new ground breaking technologies in the broadcast environment in the near future. On an infrastructure level, we have to see if it fits with what we are doing on a production level. We are always monitoring our in-house production facility and that is one area we are going to look at. Another area we are going to look at is the Internet, and we can ensure our content is seen on a number of different platforms.
VIA SATELLITE: How far are you along in your transition from SD to HD?
Iversen: We don’t produce everything in HD right now. We introduced our first full HD channel ‘DR HD’ in 2009. Subsequently, we have been working to get our infrastructure HD ready. Our approach to HD is to look at which kind of content is relevant. We have produced a lot of drama in HD. We have done sports in HD. We are in the middle of working our way through changes in our production facilities and making it easy to move to HD. At the moment our main channel DR1 and DR HD are HD channels but there is no definitive timetable in terms of when the rest of our channels will move to HD.
VIA SATELLITE: What impact is over-the-top (OTT) broadcasting and streaming technologies having for traditional broadcasting?
Iversen: What is important for us is the opportunity to gain direct access to the viewer without hindering their experience. Right now, we have a trial on an OTT service called HBBTv and we are looking at various ways in reaching the viewer. It is definitely something we are looking into. We will make a clearer decision as to where we want to go with OTT later in the year.
VIA SATELLITE: Are there revenue opportunities associated with the emergence of tablets and other mobile devices as main consumer platforms for video content?
Iversen: We have been noticing these opportunities and have seen a significant increase in the use of our services via mobile devices. During the last couple of years, we have expanded our DR streaming and on-demand offering so that it’s now available on mobile devices such as iPhones and iPads.
VIA SATELLITE: What are the main challenges facing DR during the next 12 months?
Iversen: One of the main challenges is that we are currently evaluating our TV channel portfolio. We are re-defining some of our TV channels and looking at the ways they relate to one another. The key is to push the right content to the right places, and that is a major project we are spending a lot of time implementing. We are in the middle of the process, but we are about six to nine months away from completion. This is a purely in-house project.