Project Timeline 2005–2010

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Proof of Concept Phase – Interview F

Categories: Interviews, Proof of Concept Interviews, Support Material
Date: 13 April 2005

Interviewee: This one is actually LG but Toshiba have got one, there’s probably half a dozen different sort of touch screen ones like that available.

Andy Lloyd James: What’s it worth?

Oh who knows, about three and a half I think. I think the value for money is not quite there but, well that’s [xxxxx].

I hope that’s true.

That’s okay but if you’re ticking forms and stuff and doing surveys and stuff, so I think vertical markets are now a factor of those things that put the price up a bit high.

All right okay, where we are starting from was [xxxxx].

A thousand years ago. Yeah.

Don’t worry because I’ve got them here!

Okay cool.

You’ve been in telephony for a fair old stretch of the past.


Telephony and mobility is really going to have a huge impact on what we know as television now.

Mm, hmm.

In the next 10 years what do you see as the main issues arising, or what we know now as television [xxxxx]?

Okay, I think probably if you look at I guess the marketing mix and that’s probably a good way to allocate price / product / promotion / distribution, which in the general marketing issues and management issues as well. Distribution is going to be interesting to see if the TV stations or the Pay TV stations the way we know them are actually going to be forms of distribution for content, whether if things are already digitised, if they’re centralised global distribution, where it might be direct to the consumer rather than having, say you know, a Foxtel or a Channel Nine [xxxxx] distributing content, so I think that’s going to be pretty interesting.

I think that a kind of distribution from…


…some central body somewhere else actually takes over from the notion of delivering it to broadcasters.

That could be the case because if you look at some of the stuff now on the Internet just today, as a bit of an example or a bit of resource data regarding what can be done. We’ve got screenings that are happening today, I guess the technology in the past has been, you know broadcast technology where you need powers to broadcast radio waves, so the distribution by default geographically has been limited to that. If there are other forms of distribution, say yeah, electronically via the Internet, that could be another way of… rather than a TV distribution, or a PC distribution or it could be a mobile device distribution that has been plugged into a fast Internet connections. So one of those.

That’s happening already in mobile technology.

Yeah, there’s tests and trials and you know, there’s examples today that are already starting, the customer experience isn’t all that great yet, but you have got to start somewhere, and the crucial concept is already there, so it’s then a matter of business models, about licensing, about you know the business case stacking up, plus the consumer experience being a bit better too.

The consumer experience being better in terms of screen quality and ?

Yeah, I think at the moment still the bandwidth is still fairly narrow. There’s faster bandwidth now coming online, as we have more of a fancier bandwidth, looking at say, for example, Foxtel, you know using things like satellites or uses fibre optic cables that are very bandwidth rich. As the mobile products and devices gain more bandwidth, then the pipes get fatter to screen different things and push different things down the pipes so, I think that’s one thing that is starting to evolve now. Things like screen technology are getting better, battery technology is something that is going to be perhaps an issue, because you’ve got a trade off between size and performance so you don’t really want to carry a massive battery in your pocket. And you know as TV will use more power than making a phone call, because you have got to try and scramble it up and ideally in TV and in media, a bigger screen if often better, so you‘ve got more pixels and more things to actually fire up and to keep running, so that could be also the power drain of reception depending on the method of transmission and the method of delivery, that could be an issue as well, so they’re technical issues that sort over time would be, I’d say, you know if there’s a need and a want and there’s a market, that can be resolved, I think some of the other issues might be things like licensing.

Take me through the business models, has anybody successfully worked their way through business models for content production for mobiles yet?

I think if you look at really, really basic grass roots stuff, Ring Tones has been one where… in terms of forms of content there is generally a medium, a very basic form of content, it’s been very successful in the way people do pay 3 or 5 dollars per ring tone and there is a pretty sort of growing market, blossoming market there. If you look at the negatives, you look at the music industry and MP3’s there wasn’t a revenue model sort of set-up from the grass roots level. So really the customer experience wasn’t provided by the distribution, by the record companies, so the content… well even the owners, I guess there’s a fine line because do the owners own the content and do the distribution company owns the content. But if you look at the actual distribution companies, they really had their heads in the sand regarding the legitimacy of that sort of model, so an underground sort of industry sprung up for free because this and that. So that’s the sort of thing and people you know sharing, Peer to Peer, Kazza is now starting and quite a few different sort of different reincarnations I guess for that sort of stuff. So in that regard, the customer experience being a digital form of user was good, the sound was good. The human ear probably can’t tell between a CD and a decent ripper of a song so, but the actual customer experience was there. The business models weren’t. So the customer experience really overshook the business model because, well… or overshadowed the business model because the business model was too slow in taking off, and that’s how all this pirating stuff and all the whatever came about, because people were out there to share, happy to whatever, maybe if there was an I-tune 99 cent model that wasn’t too expensive and wasn’t too greedy, and it was an easy to use and easy to get access to, back before NASTA, may be this whole underground movement wouldn’t have happened. You know may be, it’s all splitting hairs now and being hypothetical, but may be if there was a legitimate access at an affordable price that people thought was fair, may be there wasn’t, and may be they would respect, the people would be more educated to respect artists’ rights, and…

You keep talking about that, the [xxxxx] facility [xxxxx] something else in television but, the interesting thing about it was that as small as it was, that it was I think we’ll all…


The reality is that [xxxxx] tell me if I’m wrong, I may be dead wrong. My impression is that it actually fired up a marketplace, much faster than the marketplace would have fired itself up, from a proper business model.

Yes. Well it was a very viral and very may be underground stuff’s a little bit sexy and being a bit of a rebel, is a bit sexy and particularly with music you know, you get some rebels regarding music, but if you look at it, the computer age in that the actual penetration of Internet, and I think particularly with something like NASTA it needed a broadband Internet, because you’re not going to be really that happy to wait half an hour for a song, but if you can get a song in playtime or less, like really fast Internet, you can get a song in 1 minute, a song normally plays for 4 or 5 minutes, you can actually download a song faster than you can actually play it.

Can I get that on my phone now?

Not quite yet.

But I can get it on my hard drive?

Yes, Well yeah the i-Pod actually hasn’t got a connection direct with the Internet so, with your i-Pod what you do is you download it on your PC, and then transfer, so that’s the model I thought downloaded transfer model and I think that could be a great way to actually test start the appetite for the digital content particularly with digital TV content or digital video content where, okay an average song might be a megabyte a minute, so an average song might be 4 megabytes. Reasonable quality video might be a little bit less than that, it might be 3/4 … it’s not quite the CD quality, but probably watchable video could be may be ¾ of a meg a minute, so in other words a half an hour song could be 30 megabytes or less. On a fairly high-speed connection, you should be able to download that in 10 minutes or less. So you could download a ½ an hour episode of something in 10 minutes, which to me is still pretty okay, but I think probably it is probably in an area that would be a great area to actually pave the way to the frontier for digital content because commuters have got a lot of dead time. So in that regard, you know, it’s the average person, I’m just guessing what a commuter might be, but may be the average commuter might be 30 to 45 minutes each way, from different parts of Sydney, say for example, so that could be 1½ say media a day consumption. And it’s funny how in many ways the Internet sort of shifts clients’ space continuance. Like the globalisation of different stuff.

How is that?

Well just say for example, there could be a concert broadcast all around the world, you know live, you know Olympic stuff, so there could be something happening anywhere at any point in time. We’ve got direct access live, okay you’ve got different time zones so you might have to get up to watch something at 2 o’clock in the morning, but it’s sort of live as it happens. In a little bit different way what about if commuters could have their time space continually shifted a little bit where, you have got your work time so you might be in a fixed location working, you‘ve got your cuddle time, which is a grey area and perhaps you‘ve got your leisure time where you sit back home, kick your shoes off, put your slippers on, put your feet up and watch TV. What about if that viewing time cut into the commuting time? So the commuting time is generally an investment in the work place because you have got to get to work and home, but what about if you started your leisure time a little bit earlier? What about the minute you hopped on public transport say for example, you leisure time started because your media viewing time started then.

So how does that happen?

Well it could have…

Have they downloaded something already, or… ?

It could, yeah it could happen in a number of ways, it could happen well I guess it’s the concept that’s probably something of the big picture than the actual execution is probably. And then who knows in the future which execution will win, but it could be a matter of download and transfer, so it could be a matter of may be we record, you know it could be digital recording, even Foxtel, one of the guys from Foxtel showed me some… a [xxxxx] of some stuff they’ve got in the pipeline there, their Foxtel box has got time shift recording. So say for example, you might have a program, just say your favourite show is a show that’s on everyday at a set time, you could have it record that whole week’s lot of programming and you could watch it on a Saturday afternoon. They haven’t yet and they’ve got all these right protections sort of stuff, so you can’t take it outside this Foxtel box, but what about if you could push that out, past your Foxtel box, so may be you could record, you know time shift record half a dozen different programs or whatever, and take that with you in the morning as you go to work, or if that happens in your work place, take that home with you. So if you had your personal media centre that actually followed you with… it could be radio, it could be music, it could be TV, it could be whatever, whatever you like because people’s media consumption is often a cross-section of all that sort of stuff anyway. So what about if it’s, you know, if it’s all about you and so the whole media world revolves around you, revolves around your moods, around your tastes because your moods can change. So there could be chill-out times to, you know, high profiles, there could be times where you’re looking and listening and absorbing a lot of content. So again the actual mechanics of the actual delivery, who knows, could be one of whatever but one thing that’s fairly certain is it’s going to become more personalised and more effective. If the whole world is your oyster in a way and you’ve got a thousand radio channels and a thousand TV channels and a thousand music channels, and a thousand all sorts of whatevers, but Free to Air, you only have a set number of channels on the stuff. Pay TV will be the next revolution I guess, it brings wider choice and then Digital Pay TV is an even further choice, what about if that was globalised? So it’s not just Foxtel, you could have a dozen different Foxtels, from around the world to choose from and I’m sort of jumping all over the place here

No, no. no… I’m thinking as you say that, the two big questions marks, jumped into mind so I’m not doubting what you say, two big question marks, the first is find [xxxxx] mechanism EPG [xxxxx] and the second is, sorry the first is to identify what sort of EPG you might have to do all of that and to bring the global [xxxxx]

What’s the second one?

Oh yeah the second one is, filterage.

Yes. That’s where returns were needed like say, for example, look into the Yahoo example that we just talked about, where perhaps your ratings and you teach something and if you’ve got an interactive rating mechanism, one example might be, I hate it, I’ll never bring anything from this type of stuff again or from this John Ross again or whatever, yeah so it could be I hate it, I never want to see it, or I love it, and anything from this source I want to see, or maybe you know, it’s case by case, you know.


Certain different whatever, so…

Perhaps that’s built into your system.

Yeah, and that’s… I think there’s a lot of scope there, and perhaps that’s what’s going to either make or break the filtering and the… because there is going to be a lot of great stuff available and there is going to be a lot of crap stuff available, and awful stuff available too. It could almost be personal broadcasting and personal you know your Weintorf type be out of the garage sort of stuff, but some people might love and there could be a whole bypass the mainstream system and bypass the establishment direct to the people.

That’s interesting because that… and also raises the question and I don’t know whether this is coming to the mobile world at all, but individuals authoring their own material.


Pumping it out, is that happening?

Not quite yet, but there are signs of it, and a very basic sign of that is Logging. It’s showing to the Internet, it’s going to become more relevant in the mobile world or at least mobile as an interface, because the mobile world is a source of image collection, and at the moment we are starting to see mega pixel even 2 mega pixel camera phones, but why wouldn’t that be a video capture device as well? Even eventually outputting to DVD, you know outputting to print is a way of high quality photo being utilised and the imaging, but what about say for example, outputting to DVD or outputting Video blocks or even Video broadcasts, as the bandwidth becomes greater and the pipe become fatter. I think that is definitely so. You know the phone might be a connected video camera as well a telephony device, and that could bring interactivity into personal broadcasting, and it might be stored in a certain reservoir or a certain library online or it might be live. And it could be as logging is personal, journalism or personal reporting, it could be somebody, yeah at a concert giving their tape that was great or it was crap or there could be whales on Sydney Harbour and somebody walking past the foreshore. So that is pretty mind-blowing, and then as well that gets back to filtering and then quality control.

Well that’s… the whole question of quality control is this a regulation free zone? Retransmitting what my mobile and putting miniature [xxxxx].

I don’t think the whole establishment has got any way of stopping you doing that, just, you know… okay, the things here is connectivity, people have had video cameras for a long time, it’s the actual sharing and the connectivity that is all new, and also too a lot of people dread to go to slide nights, or video nights because it’s boring. So you know, but I can even find it now, I can show you the latest Nokia phone, and they’ve actually got some inbuilt editing functions where you can actually jazz stuff up, where you can actually add titles, add sound tracks, add different stuff and that’s today in a very low resolution format and that’s design for sending from phone to phone, so they’re very small hubs, but it’s like things like, you could have like a James Bond 007 overlay where you might have you know, whatever, Mum and Dad walking in the park but comes up, you know there is an overlay and I’ve got this on a phone that I can show you right now.

James Bond ones?

Yeah, or there’s sexy ones, or James Bond ones, or car racing ones where they might have some animated effects that overlay over the top. That sort of stuff that only you know broadcast TV stations could pick up in the past, and bring sound effects and bring transitions and stuff into a mobile phone. So, if the mobile phone becomes a very high tech video camera with overlays and everything, capabilities but the thing that the mobile phone has is a proven case where people carry them.


So it’s the here and now, it’s the power to the pocket, sort of thing. It’s being on the spot. So, you know the trade-offs are things like battery consumption, of course. If the device costs double…

So it’s a barrier. What about the cost of the transmission itself and connectivity?

That’s the thing that’s going to go down over time as we have more bandwidth available, that’s going to come down because if we have an abundance of bandwidth the price per whatever, whatever the increment may be, you know it might be kilobyte, then may be megabyte, maybe even gigabyte one day, who knows, gigabytes are way beyond the realm of thought at the moment.

But does that mean at the moment somebody is making a giant profit out of it?

At the moment it’s very expensive, yes.

Which is going into profit, or is it going into something else?

I think going into profit plus into may be investing into further infrastructure, to fix things but if you look at the Internet, I think a lot of the digital experience, you can look to the Internet for knowledge, because digitising things and broadcasting and screening things over the Internet is just a factor of okay screen, hype, [xxxxx] memory and processor power. So the Internet is probably a couple of years out and it will probably remain fixed Internet, may be a couple of years ahead of mobile.

Particularly for power.

Definitely, well always ahead possibly because you‘ve got that, a constant down source, but if you look for inspiration, look at it there, we had dial up, and dial up even now if you look at its relatively, slow and relatively expensive. Expensive, like if you look at a typical broadband plan now, it might be packed with 10 or 12 gigabytes. Now 10 or 12 gigabytes might be the equivalent of screening quality, it might be 50 DVDs in its party or whatever, if it’s full quality DVD, a full quality DVD might be 4 or 5 gigabytes, so that’s only a couple but screening… I think people could probably deal with lower quality screening [xxxxx] CD quality, I think

[xxxxx] particularly comes now.

Yeah, and also too screening is a factor of screen size as well, if you are only screening to a little screen the actual bandwidth doesn’t have to be as high, it might be 1 megabyte or less per minute, compared to perhaps 10 times that.

So where do you think the price will get to?

I think…

Don’t worry, you are not going to be quoted.

Well and I think what you are doing is all futurology and crystal ball gazing, as I understand it, but I think what we’ll probably find is, say for example you’ve got say 10 or 12 gigabytes as a cut for a certain price now on the Internet, say $50 to $80 a month. I think mobile is going to have to be that or even cheaper, maybe a smaller cuts for smaller dollars. The essential draw card of a mobile is for telephony, it’s still talking to people, or messaging, SMS and Voice, so that’s not going to go away. I think if you want layers on top, you’ve got to have a price trade-off, you have got to have… well a balance of price, a balance of battery life, a balance of cost of device. So I think there’s probably going to be caps, you probably can’t be all you can eat all day every day, because to be [xxxxx] monitor this sort of thing is where that’s what’s happened with unlimited phone calls at a certain cap, people just leave it on in the kids bedroom, and just use it as a…


Yes, and that’s happened. Vodafone in New Zealand and some countries around the world, just say you’ve got unlimited calls between 8 and midnight say for example…

No cap, they just leave it on?

Yeah. They just leave it on and that ties up the channels, it ties up bandwidth, it ties up capacity. So there has got to be policies that limit the… generally common fair go policies. But I think getting back to the question, there could be certain caps at certain price points, in a fair psychological price points, they give you fairly hefty allowances, and it could be 5 gigabytes for $20 a month at some stage. Not now. It’s probably 100 times that at the moment. Or even looking at the way Three have come about, very smart, very quirky cable TV pricing where…

Yes, you said that, just explain that to me, what cable TV…?

What that is is they’re bundling, so they might have an entertainment package that might include four screens, not quite channels, but we call them channels for the sake of understanding I guess. So that might be, the entertainment package might have a ‘what’s on’ guide, with video content of may be movie previews, movie trailers, maybe some gig guide stuff with trailers, maybe some restaurant reviews with trailers, may be your horoscope with animated stuff, so interactive media rich. There might be four different screens that makes the entertainment channel. And Three have got that for $3 a month. That includes the content and the bandwidth, which is a pretty smart way to go, the telephony paradigms are wrong.

You can have media on [xxxxx] that?

Yeah, if it’s kilobyte, per gigabyte, per umpteen, whatever per…

What does that mean?

Per whatsamajigga byte, who cares. And that is totally customer friendly. So if you want to distribute media, you’re going to have a media mentality, people are looking at, yeah cool, it’s a channel, like look at Foxtel, look at Pay TV.

What am I paying for my entertainment?

You are paying x dollars per channel, or per package of channels, there might be 5 channels for $20 a month, or you might have your basic package then you add your value add… you know it might be your premium movie package or it might be your sport package, or it might be your cinemas package, so Three have already sort of put their toe in the water there, which is to their credit, which is great.

How successfully?

Three has got a few factors, Three has a lot of customers out there, they’ve got… I think they’re got to may be a couple of hundred thousand already. So first of all you’ve actually got to have your actual points of access out there, and then you have got to… and that’s what they’ve done, they’ve said, we’ve got to acquire customer base, we’ve got to find distribution and acquire an audience, then we could actually push out or broaden and overlay things over and above, so they are still in the sort of hard yards to actually, yeah, start up mode and also acquiring an audience or potential audience, acquiring points of access. Then it’s a matter of routing their audience in terms of what they can push out. So it’s sort of still early days, but the actual philosophy then on Telco philosophy is great. I think the Pay TV model is much better than the actual Telco model, because the Pay TV… and in the U.S they’ve said, you know, you get fibre in the ground but really Pay TV only came to life when we discovered programming. That’s what people pay for, fibre is nothing to them. Fibre is the B to B, it’s a vertical market, it’s not something, not a consumer market that people will pay for as entertainment. So, I think it’s probably basic, too early to tell from them, but the actual logic is sound. It’s using the Pay TV logic whereas Foxtel aren’t selling you megabytes purely by its you know whatsamajigbytes.

That’s right and that’s a really interesting way of starting to think about how to build a business model as well.

Exactly. And even the difference between analogue and Pay TV and digital Pay TV, what’s the customer proposition, what’s the benefits, where you have got wider variety and you’ve got on-demand. It’s not anything to do with digitising contents, you know, we can digitise x number of whatever capacity, the pipes is not this big or that big. Who cares? People don’t really care about the pipe. What they care about it the experience, the programs they like, the entertainment, the information they like, the, you know, whatever.

So it seems from this [xxxxx] that you don’t see… you see mobile access to some extent as a… not as a challenge to traditional television but there is a way of getting onto places where you can’t get to…

Exactly, it’s a way of pushing out media consumption, to times and places where they don’t exist today. Okay, maybe radio does have a bit of a foothold in while people are out and about, even mobile phones, it’s interesting that a lot of Nokia mobile phones and they’ve been doing this for quite a few years, and everybody else is now following suite. It’s not very expensive to add an FM tuner into a mobile phone. FM radio doesn’t chew much power, and a lot of people want headsets now because of the laws in driving. So to stick one earphone or two, and stick in an FM radio, doesn’t cost very much at all. That’s something that’s… the uptake and I don’t even know how stats might be found on that, but the uptake of radio because you’ve got your mobile phone with you anyway, so if you have got your radio with you anyway. And even though the actual headphone is your antennae, so you don’t even have to add any other bits. It’s like the new millennium version of the little transistor radio, it has shrunken so small that it’s actually in there, there is no mass on its own. The screen of the phone is the interface for tuning in radio stations and whatever, it’s free to air, so you have got a lot of content for nothing.

It’s very attractive.

It is, particularly to commuters again because if you are siting there with dead time and even if you are reading a book you can still listen to radio and read a book, depending on what sort of music and what your taste is and whatever. So it’s incremental, and that’s the thing, I think the name of the game with mobiles…

A word is increment.

Is increment, and what incrementally could be what layers could be added on top and then I guess the greater the risk, the greater the barriers, the greater the risk. So if there is content ownership and licensing and cost barriers, obviously video content, you know you’ve got 25 [xxxxx] or it may not be 25 frames a second, it may be 15 frames a second, and that may be acceptable. So if you have got frame rates that take battery power, processing power, screen power, those sorts of things, radio doesn’t need any screen at all. So that’s going to be a barrier, but over time like things incrementally happen quickly.

That should prove Morse law.

Yeah, exactly, Morse law, like you get double the capacity for half the price every 18 months.

Is battery power increasing at that length as well?

Battery power is something that’s going to be a bit of challenge because energy is something that doesn’t really follow the Morse law.


CPUs and the processing does, but I think energy has some other law that it follows, and until maybe you can leapfrog to may be some other power cell, also battery technology, there is some danger of safety. So it can’t leapfrog so much, unregulated, it can’t leapfrog, you know if we are going to move the fuel cells which is something a lot of people have talked about, you know fuel cells in your pocket, you know is there a fire danger…

The real issues, yeah.

Is it flammable? Is it going to blow up, can it…

[xxxxx] and all that.

Exactly, so a lot of that stuff take a lot longer and like the actual development process is a lot longer and the learning curve is a lot sort of, you know gradual and a lot longer, but I think if there is a business to be made, there are, you know maybe it’s a matter where you might be able to charge much faster, so maybe it’s a matter where it might take an hour to charge a battery now and maybe it fast charges in 5 minutes.

When do you think it will actually start to make a fortune now with having to need rechargers the way there are telephones needed all around the city?

Well it’s already on… I’ve had one to try but like it’s a coin-operated thing that you can get it, okay, like an emergency charger in 15 minutes. It’s a technology accelerator where you can maybe get, maybe it’s a zap charger, a one-minute zap, who knows in 5 or 10 years. There is no right or wrong. But maybe it’s a matter where you go to a convenience store if you need to and get a zap charge for, you know, sort of 10 cents for a 1 minute charger and it charges all afternoon, or maybe in trains there’s chargers.

No, that’s what I was thinking, anywhere I mean even the simplest thing anywhere where you find a mobile phone now…

Yeah, sorry.

A mobile phone… a Telstra product and it distributes all over [xxxxx]…

Yeah, could be, and even that, they’re starting to roll out Y-Fi, so making a lot of the phone boxes hot spots. So what about if you could actually download content off there, if you could be within 100 metres or whatever even, you’d walk in and stick the thing in the cradle, without needing hi-tech Y-Fi sort of stuff, and imagine if your phone box could also be a music store, or a TV program and distribution point. It could be your I-tunes as a spot.

This is all of those things.

Yeah, but phone boxes you think of how many there are out there…

I know!

And they’re all… they’re everywhere. And even that… there’s a little current project we‘re working on, the car, the car’s great, what if 10 people could park around the phone box and download their latest albums or whatever and drive off, and it will all happen within 5 minutes or 3 minutes, you get a whole album. And things are starting to get faster and faster like that, so I think if you want to look a few years forward in mobile, look at the Internet today. So looking at the cutting edge of the Internet today.

What’s the best result in 10 years time, again I’m thinking in terms of television as a whole?

Well, when we last spoke I sort of said the mobile in many ways has been joked about as being the remote control for liars, so it controls your interaction with people, with email…

So again it’s incremental, it’s not a replacement.

Correct, because the thing is too you look at horses for courses, what’s one of the benefits of a big screen in your lounge room? Well it’s that cinema style experience, so mobiles are never going to be a cinema at home unless you have some 3D virtual reality glasses or something you have that actually replaces which is probably a lot further off. You look at it, and I guess an analogy to look at is probably 3 different screens, and if you just look at the implementation of screen, the screen age I guess or screening, you look at the cinema as one form of screen and one is a form of experience. It’s a very rich, very large experience. Then you look at your lounge room as another experience. A little bit smaller, and that’s rich, then you look at say PC screen again, which is smaller again and less rich. If you look at those 3 different, they’re all different experiences, different times, different place, different mood.

That’s good.

And even distribution is probably tiered in a way where it appears in cinema and then it appears say on DVD, then it appears maybe on Free to Air TV, and maybe Internet, so they’re key distribution and also different experiences. Mobile is the same, well mobile might fit in another tier, so it’s not going to say… you’re not going to… your mobile is not going to cannibalise what you watch in the lounge room, or watching it at the cinema.

But your PC might.

Your PC might cannibalise your lounge room and your living room.

Yes, that’s about it.

Yeah because, probably the actual… well the time and place are not so different, so they’re in the same sort of environment, perhaps it will take a little bit longer for the… because you’re getting big screen TVs now, that are probably going to take longer to permeate into PC world, and also too, a PC you might sit directly in front of it, you want to sit further back so you need room, the actual room has got to be set up a little bit different.

Tell me what the struggle is here, is that… I mean…

If the [xxxxx] yes, the answer is yes.

If I can read my computer through my television screen.


Now admittedly I’m not, I don’t watch hours of television every night, so I don’t mind an interrupted, but if I could read it… if I could go online on this television screen with a [xxxxx] I could personally have a [xxxxx] why do people think that [xxxxx] completely [xxxxx]?

I guess probably the environments and probably I guess the actual companies involved, and the environment involved, probably the environment rather than companies, are a bit different where the Internet came from computers so it was an IT industry there, IT environment, and now that IT environment is learning how to deal with the media, whereas broadcasting came from a media, a structural media environment, so…


I guess IT is learning how to deal with media [xxxxx] falls out, things like perhaps the Neilson ratings and things like because… but in terms, just sitting here literally just there is convergence, definitely convergence there.


I wonder why this [xxxxx] because if I could watch television on my laptop, and three are times of the day and this, that and the other when I would be very happy to.


And then there are times of the day when I’m very happy if I’m boom in the middle of a current affairs program, it just might pop off a couple of emails on my television screen, or something.


And yet there seems to me there seems to be a sense that this would be a hard thing to crack.

Is that happening from you?

Oh yeah the question is who is stepping up to actually make it our turn, and who is stepping up to actually make it, because it has got to be easy as well.


You’re assuming that it’s very simple, you just press a button!

Yes, you’d like to say, some of the hotel rooms have got that sort of stuff already. And the media people stepping up to add email and to add that interactivity and the IT people, perhaps the IT because that’s their background and they’ve evolved from a computing to now a media mentality, and also to I guess Digital Pay TV, digital digitally, is probably the first chance of the true feed-back into the media, a true interactivity, because before it was like a push method of distribution and delivery… not distribution, I must have distribution I guess embedded on the brain. As before it’s probably a push method of delivery so, looking at Channel Nine you know towers broadcast radio waves, that’s pushed towards an outlet. You have the choice of switching between one frequency or one channel or another, and it’s actually choose…

If your television of course was a dumb monitor…

It was a dumb, yeah. Yeah exactly.

But you know a server in the sense of…


And your PC…

Exactly. So if it’s just a dumb monitor how do you get your email, because email is interactive. Email is a connection, a two-way connection. It’s not just pushed one-way. But say for example Foxtel digital is two-way because you’ve got your active program guide and…

Back channel.

Yeah, and you‘ve got your back channel. So that back channel might now be able to give you email, and depending bandwidth and whatever, but yeah you didn’t have a back channel. So that’s probably a limited media, whereas Internet has had, you know front and back channels both probably equally rich. So that’s probably something that’s limited base and then other media, well here’s the media industry, broadcast media seen the threat and perhaps looking at adding to the experience they actually have it, because it’s really one person, it’s one you. It’s not an email you, or a Free to Air you, or a Pay TV you, or a radio you, it’s one you.


So you want to choose it, and you want to have it sort of your way, so is Channel Nine looking at adding email functionality?

Is Foxtel?

Well I guess because you’ve got gaming, you’ve got the digital interactive guide, I’d say Foxtel probably are.

You talked last time about the potential for an operator like Foxtel where you can… your personal profile, your garden not just for entertainment…


But for all of your business activities, sorry all of your personal business activities…


Tell us the background.

Okay, well I guess the question is who has the potential, the Telco area provide the bandwidth to own your personal attention or perhaps the media owners back. Now you look at Foxtel and again I guess my background is in telephony, so I’m biased regarding that and I’m probably…


Well there is. So it’s a crossover. I guess my bias is and I guess is that, I’m probably a little bit critical regarding the telephony area, in being savvy regarding media and savvy regarding actual things like entertainment and reasons why people can see the media.

[xxxxx] up themselves.

Yeah, I’ll was just politely saying this but whether Foxtels have been like make or break based on media and make or break based on entertainment. So I think if you look at the actual customer experience and work your way back, the people who are actually savvy in providing entertainment and information and education and whatever, I think they’re in the box seat. Because ultimately to say the Big Brother globalisation happens and the digitisation and the central repository I guess, of content happens. Who’s going to own that, not the telephony people. Telephony people are only giving you the access mechanism and the link. It’s the actual Foxtel’s of the world, so just say there wasn’t an Australian Foxtel, what if there was a global Foxtel, and whatever and you could pick, and there was an easy way of filtering and selecting what you wanted. They could deliver that, you know at the moment it’s cabled to you… you know, cabled to the curve, what if that was delivered over a satellite or some other way where they could do that and even be by-passing Australia, and do that. [xxxxx] in the past I guess things like billing mechanisms are growing up and becoming more sophisticated. You know credit cards, people are becoming more even like easily, people are becoming more confident and actually, you know…

Micro billing?

Micro billing too, yes. Micro billing could be yes, per show, whatever per episode. It could be the case, micro billing is very big in Japan and particularly in… well in mobile, because actually e-Commerce in Japan has actually blossomed from mobile, because the penetration of Internet in Japan is very low.

Is that right?

Yeah, so actually micro billing has probably been a termance.

Why do you think the penetration low, I would have thought in Japan would have been [xxxxx].

Well in Japan, I think traditionally Internet, I’m not that au-fait with Internet but the general knowledge I have, Internet has been very expensive in Japan, so what happened and it sort of back fired years ago, because they’ve had content on their phones in Japan for 5 years now. ACC pulse content, which is probably one of the first places in the world where it happened. So what happened back then when the Internet started to take off in Australia, it didn’t really… it was expensive in Japan so people wanting email, got it on their mobile phone in Japan, getting more and more content, dating on their mobile phone, horoscopes on their mobile phone, banking on their mobile phone.

They’ve gone past it.

So what’s happened is the Internet has caught up in Japan and you know, the big screen experience has caught up. But where it was actually pioneered was on mobile, and also Japan, things like commuting. Commuting is a big thing in Japan. You look at the lifestyle under that, you know the quality of [xxxxx] so, even if the Internet was at the same penetration rates as here, where are they going to access it, either work or home. What if people don’t get home till 10 o’clock at night, which is pretty common in Japan. They may not access the Internet till 10 o’clock at night. In the workplace, it’s probably forbidden for personal stuff. But if there’s 90 minutes each way, which is fairly common in Japan, that’s 3 hours per day potential access to whatever, call it media, call it telephony, call it whatever you want to call it. So in Japan that’s happened. Now particularly things like email and whatever, has led to micro billing. Because you might want to charge per email or per sort of thing rather than a big charge and there is a lot of little horoscope services, a lot of little sports services, a lot of dating services, and they might be $2 a month or $3 a month for stuff like that. So it depends on what you mean by micro. Micro might even be 50 cent billing or $3 billing, say for example, so… That’s really interesting, if you want to look at inspiration regarding micro billing, look at NTT Dot Como, and IMO in Japan, it has just been launched by Telstra on mobiles.

NTT Docomo.

Yeah, and IMO is the actual brand.

So if I just Google that or… ?

You’ll find the pages of Google, there’s many books, there is hundreds of books actually, you might even find a book on micro billing and the success to micro billing from IMO. There might even be a book written, you might have to order it from overseas, but you might even Google books, not even just whatever, or I-Pod so that’s an area that’s had micro billing for quite some time. I think very interesting as far as media consumption because it might be a pay-per-view literally, you know pay-per-episode, literally.

Well that’s it obviously, I mean it’s going to need that.

Well also if you look at too, like look at the Internet maturing, look at centralised billing systems, IT billing systems. Probably once upon a time the future model of ‘send you a bill in the mail’, has been a [xxxxx] billing paradigm, maybe of analogue, billing paradigm. If you look at digital billing now, where people are starting to trust more e-Billing, there was probably a lot of scepticism regarding security and even education if you’ve never done it, like I think you’ve probably got to have half a dozen transactions before you’re comfortable with it.

Yeah, comfortable to realise how easy it is.

Yes, that’s almost like food, like microwave cooking was almost like a digital form of cooking, versus analogue in a normal oven. And until you’ve experienced it a few times, you don’t have any confidence, still you don’t mind really. And so I think now it’s online banking. That’s an example of having a new sort of frontier that’s started to take off.

I mean is there [xxxxx].


I mean [xxxxx] is like my wife. The easiest online banking…


She uses the internet for online banking, [xxxxx], she has never been terrified in all [xxxxx].

Yes. yes.

It’s never to be trusted [xxxxx].


And then she’s cheerfully banking away online.


[xxxxx] with the simple things of [xxxxx].

Exactly, exactly.

And because it’s not an experience that you have…

Exactly. No, it’s just a comfort level, that’s all it is, it’s a level of familiarity and a level of trust I guess, and a level of…

I was [xxxxx] first, she had to teach me all that online banking.

Yes, but the thing is okay, take Trisha as an example, if you can spread that level of comfort throughout the population, would you really care if the bill came from Sydney or from San Diego or from Atlanta?

If it was secure it wouldn’t matter a bugger.

So, if you could add that as a line item to your Internet billing or you could transfer funds from your online thing to your whatever account, just say for argument sake, call it your Turner account, because he is well known and whatever and CNN and based in Atlanta so imagine if there was this massive fortress, more secure than anything you ever imagined and so redundant that you have got 15 back up systems of everything, so it was so, actually dealing with that would be so comfortable. And imagine if all your media came from that one place, to actually…

This is back to the Foxtel model.

Getting back to the Foxtel model. And that’s what could happen because you‘ve got access to all the content. For them adding billing systems shouldn’t be so hard, particularly if they see that billing system being advertised globally across, not you know, potentially a 100 million customers in the U.S that might be their best scope, but maybe put a zero on the end of it, you know globally around all the different nations and they did that. So, that’s right, I can’t see Telstra doing that, if you look at the actual content owners versus the telephony people, the Telco companies.

They could be part of them.

They could be part of it, but even that, like okay, are they going to be a local bran that actually markets because generally you look at – and getting back to the marketing I think, business probably marketing… the marketing mixes with the general net price product promotion / distribution. Just say, okay, you know Ziggy went to Ted Turner and said, okay I want to be a part of this Big Brother globalisation of content, or it could be yeah, a Murdoch or a whoever, and that’s where your Fox line comes from, you know, News Limited, Fox, could be that too. But perhaps there isn’t a Turner Broadcasting you know Foxtel is one thing, this could be a rival for Foxtel here. Perhaps Ziggy went over and said, okay cool, we want a part of it. Yeah, sitting with Ted Turner, and he says, well okay, here we are now, what value are we going to have? Are you going to have Australia to help with the distribution and that may be local points with access, whether it be over the air, whether it be via a cable, whether it be via a mobile, whether it be fibre optic, whatever it may be. So Ziggy, are you going to add distribution, promotion, are you going to market it, maybe, you know Aussie market… is it better? Like you know if global marketing doesn’t really work, it has got to be region by region, and territory by territory and even ethnic group by ethnic group. Perhaps ethnic marketing might flow across, but who knows. You know, Yanks like a big 44 gallon hat whatever doesn’t really work here, so maybe the local unless they set up their own branch here, I mean there is probably no value for, they might even set up their own satellite to broadcast direct to their own dishes, or their own phones or whatever, they might totally cut Telstra out of the picture. So, in terms of that, they have got what do people want, people want the entertainment. How are they going to get it?


Well that’s a bit of a question mark. How are they going to pay for it? That’s a bit of a question mark. But if you look at who could probably sort of you know steam roll the whole thing, well you could be possibly the juggernaut, I think potentially the content owners could be more of a juggernaut than the actual telephony people, and then even the local media barons and whatever here, you know.

And again in that world, it’s incremental, it’s not…


It’s not competitive, it’s incremental.

Yeah, well all I can… actually it could be competitive though.


Because you look at it, Channel Nine programming, and all the programming for the sports thing, what if the programming is available direct from the source to the consumer, cutting them out is in the digital age. And that could be satellite TV, it could be…


It could be whatever.

The other thing is, you know all the time you’ve been talking about mobile, and all the time – and I’m sure a lot of people do this, when I talk about mobiles, I think of handheld devices.


But in reality a laptop computer is mobile in exactly the same way.

Yes, could be, it could definitely be. Could definitely be and it could even be a matter of where there’s enough intelligence and a [xxxxx] high device, where at most, okay this might be a hot spot or you might switch to wireless LAN over the Internet, or I might switch to Basic, like some of the phones now, sorry PDA is probably a bit better because it’s a bit more hardware rich.


But PDA could probably have what I can think of, maybe 4 or 5 methods of connectivity, let me think, they have the cable…


Yeah WiFi is one.


Yeah cellular, let’s say GPIS because it’s all forms of stuff so WiFi is cellular, you know mobile network, a cable, a USB cable or some other cable. Blue Tooth.


Blue Tooth is generally local area and but it is still a method of connectivity. Perhaps even infrared. Infrared is very, very low, like very low site, very… in Singapore you should go to an airport, any airport in Singapore and you could point your laptop or your PDA at a point, an infrared point, and get access online to whatever. But that’s now, today access to the Internet but that could be access to perhaps there is a video library in the…

Yeah, [xxxxx].

Yeah exactly, or even the Internet, there could be mechanisms within the Internet to have different systems, so that’s five, was it five? Yeah.

Yeah we’ve got five.

That’s five methods of connectivity so, but again I think if you want inspiration, look at the person base, look at the customer base, what do you want to do, and what do you want it for?

And that seems to be wherever I talk to people essentially what it seems to come down to is that all the old lines about content is king or this person is king, what everybody is… that expressiveness is sort of like that and saying it’s actually the consumer.

The customer is king really. Well even like, there is a saying you know, content is King, but distribution if King Kong. Whatever the level above King Kong is, is the customer.

The jolly green giant.

Yeah. The customer is the jolly green giant.

What’s the worst outcome?

The worst outcome is a mess. Is a mess. The worst outcome is multiple technologies that don’t gel, multiple software and operating systems that don’t gel.

Ineffective filtering?

Ineffective filtering, ineffective formats that are all over the place, say for example we had the actual VHS versus Beta, you know as a way of distributing movies once, what if you had 10 different variations of that?

Is that possible?

Well common sense suggests not, and business practices of the case suggests not, but what if Microsoft had a proprietary play in one way? What if Fox had a proprietary play in another way? What if Telstra had a proprietary play in another way? What if… I don’t know 2 or 3 others had it, Apple had another play in another way, maybe hardware then, what if Nokia had a play in another way?

Because it must be a real issue for others, I mean take those players as real players for a second, because…


It’s simply an issue for them, do I provide the world with a clone system locked into me.


Or do I provide them with an open system, in which I may not be able to provide all the content.

Exactly. Exactly or even the fact of…

Well the clone system in the long run have been, unless it was utterly mobile, [xxxxx]

Definitely. What about even say for example an i-Tunes.


Okay, let me give one example of aggregating content, say from all the different record neighbours. They might deal with 15 different record neighbours, they might have 15 different arrangements, regarding legalities, contracts, licensing, charging models, maybe even margin, 15 different things. Now that’s probably just in the U.S. Just say i-Tunes had then to go, every market they went into had 15 different deals they had to cut with. Because apparently that’s the way a lot of the record companies work, they have different expectations in different markets, so it might be different margins, it might be different legalities, it might be different copyright laws. So imagine if you had an i-Tunes wanting to go into 300 different markets times 15 different arrangements in each market. Now what if that nightmare couldn’t be resolved? What if they couldn’t manage it all and make it happen? What if the record company… what if the content owners, the record companies. And I guess the record industry is like the Internet is something with a bit of history, to learn how – and maybe the record companies too – what if they all said no, we’re not cross licensing anymore, we’re dealing direct. So you have to go to a Universal, for a Universal movie, you had to go to a… I don’t know, Village Road Show for another.


The worst case might be if all shit hits the fan, if people can‘t collaborate. So there’d be a mess in terms of arrangements, there could be a mess in terms of technology.

What about a mess in terms of searching.

Oh, the other mess could be, yeah, if there’s two many like if things get bogged down too much. Every single person want to have their own personalised radio… you know TV station, personalised broadcast or whatever and it clogs up stuff. It clogs up bandwidth, it clogs up… it just turns people off. Because I’m just trying to think of an analogy or an example of them being too much of a mess, I don’t know but…

Well actually you know in a reasonable way, although it’s a very… by now technologically it’s very much in terms of the Beta / VHS one was enabling.


It gives a very good example, I mean that was a really [xxxxx] on the road to the future.

Yes, because I’m thinking now even okay back to my [xxxxx].

[xxxxx] was the worse, at least the [xxxxx] technologies [xxxxx]…

Well distribution might do that, given the power of the actual mass market we need, and because you have Panasonic and some of the main Cabs, you had market share giants I guess, or volume giants behind that Cab, again there’s going to be a quagmire with mobile. Looking at mobile okay, the customer experience that, if it helps extend your either productivity of your business time, or your personal time into an environment that’s currently dead now.


Travel say, for example.

For whatever reason yeah.

Yeah or whatever, you’re walking along the streets, you know anything… or you might not want to be like a classic…

You could be lying in bed and you don’t want the television on.


While your wife is asleep.

Exactly. You know once upon a time you had to wait near a landline for a phone call, now you can have a phone call anywhere you want. Same there, once upon a time you had to sit in front of your TV to watch something, a house, anywhere you want. And perhaps for the smart media groups they will see that and that would be an incremental thing. So it could be Channel Nine to go. It will be Foxtel to go, and it could be x dollars a month for your Foxtel subscription to take it all with you, and Channel Nine to go. Not only that they’re increasing their viewing time, I don’t know if there is an increase in their audience, maybe, maybe not, but at least increasing the reach that they have.

Which is going to be critical to them because of several factors.


And certainly they will across time start to lose [xxxxx]

Yes, because it’s first digitised and on demand, how does the advertising revenue model work? What is the model? Looking at this Yahoo example I’ve brought up, because it’s good just to look at rather than theoretical stuff, look at real stuff. Yahoo has got all these free music videos, there are probably in excess of 1,500 music videos there. And what they’ve got is they’ve got a premium service and they’ve got a standard service.


Well actually no, there is a lot more, Internet access aside.


So bandwidth whatever aside, the standard service is free but has ads, the premium service has no ads.

But you pay for the premium service.

You pay extra, x dollars per month for the premium service. So perhaps for the media outlet, you could even have different models. And the customer can choose, and whatever. So that could be, but if you had on demand, like if you had Foxtel on demand say for example, that’s available today, you might pay $5 for the movie to watch it, but whatever if you chose to sit down and watch 15 minutes worth of commercials first or have it in, you know have it all the way intermittently through, or even have like an intermission in the middle where you’ve got to sit and watch the ads, or you have got to fill out a survey even, even pushing it even further to get that movie for free or for half price, perhaps people will do that. It’s almost being paid to view or subsidise your viewing.

Yes, subsidised viewing, yeah.

By, you know… so in other words even be more upfront, if people know that there’s advertising on its TV shows, but you know it doesn’t stop them from channel switching or getting up and going to the toilet, what if they consciously actually, you know they actually jump through a hoop and get a reward in return, you know?

So the worst outcome is a complete mess.

Yeah. And the mess could even be more than that, the mess could be a technological mess, it could be a licensing mess, it could be struggles, power struggles and you know, like you know, may be… before I missed sort of an example of a media owner, a Telco, a hardware vendor, and a couple of computing people, just thinking… yeah I’m just thinking of who’s big enough to maybe weigh in. But again looking at the mobile and one example of a mess in mobile TV. There could access over the Internet but there’s also this oh, I’ve got some links that I’m, like I was almost ready to send the email today, this DVD digital… it’s data casting on you mobile.


It’s DVDH or something like that.

Oh yes, DVDH. Yes.

Okay so what that is, that’s actually data casting over mobiles, so that’s not necessarily using the Internet, that’s using stills local powerless. Its so, maybe you might have a power struggle between your News Limited or your Turners or your whatevers, wanting to globalise it out of whatever, or maybe if your access mechanism is data casting locally, so you might format your TV towers to broadcast, and that’s probably what Broadcast Australia actually emailed to the product managers at Nokia today, asking whether [xxxxx], can I have access say, look maybe give it a week or whatever, but it probably will take me to a Broadcast Australia [xxxxx], may be get the terminal from Nokia, and get access via Broadcast Australia, it’s actually there. Because I don’t know what it looks like, maybe we could actually play it now, and maybe even when you’re doing it…

This is their trials?

Yeah and maybe when you were doing your interviews, or you got some of your focus groups.

Yep, yes sure we have. (Talking together).

Here it is today. Is it final? So it’s not science fiction.


I think like me I have only just discovered though, it’s probably going to satisfy my appetite, but for you it could be an ongoing thing.

Oh, [xxxxx].

Like here’s a glimpse of the future.

You reckon you might be able to get a hold of one?

I reckon there’s probably more than 50% of it happening. So, and doing that the thing is even if you look at mobile TV, so pushing that experience or pushing the benefits out wherever, whenever, there could be that data casting format versus just an Internet screening format, because even now today Optus say for example, you can see they’ve got a screening TV where they are re-broadcasting you know, SBS, ABC, and CNN.

What you showed me, yeah.

Yes, or even say Yahoo, on your mobile being a broadcaster by the Internet. Data casting could be another local area access mechanism so, that PDA might have a sixth one, it might be a data cast feed, that’s the form of connectivity which is different to WiFi, different to cellular, different to Blue Tooth, different to whatever… so potential for mess.


Is there in terms of the access mechanisms and the… yeah I guess probably yeah, technology isn’t only about the actual device but it’s active and maybe even the software that plays within the actual device.

So that’s all about the different relationships.

So if the shit hits the fan, the worst case could be a total mess, I think best practice and business practice and common sense will prevail, because that’s a lose, lose, lose, lose, lose for everybody in the value chain from the media player people to the device people, to the content owners, to the access mechanism people, to whatever. So that’s the absolute worst case.

And if you could… I mean if you could do something… well first of all, what would you see as the priorities right now to try and ensure that the mess doesn’t happen and that you get a decent outcome. Was it regulation or was it…?

Well even regulation, I think regulation is probably too far behind the times to actually make it happen. You know regulation is selling things like Spectrum 8, selling Spectrum is more about revenue and you know that kind of form of taxation rather than…

I was going to say forget I said it.

And when… well no don’t forget you said it, because I think self-regulation is probably going to be more entrepreneurial, look at WiFi, is there any regulation for WiFi? I don’t think… I don’t know of any, so you would have a WiFi hot spot anywhere and everywhere, all over the place. But the thing is would you only subscribe to WiFi in its location, really what you want to do is you want WiFi wherever you go, so you want to roam on WiFi, so even though WiFi coverage here might be 100 metres.


You might want a centralised password, or a centralised whatever, so everywhere you go…. you can have WiFi almost anywhere.

So this a full wireless mechanism?

Well yeah, that’s going to have to be seamless because you’d probably want to watch TV while you’re moving, WiFi now, you might only want WiFi like as a download sort of service.


So perhaps WiFi might be, or whatever mechanism it might be is downloading transfer, well it might be one, but people are spontaneous.


You know if you’re driving in Newcastle you might think, geez I’m bored I want something, like you don’t really want to have to pull over to the side of the road.

[xxxxx] yesterday.

Yeah or maybe even pull over to a service station and top up on your content, you know downloading your content, and that was an example of one of the things I looked at, I’ll send you the link too for this in the car, where Microsoft have got a thing where you might pull into a service station and they might WiFi enabled and a whole album might come down, so it might be poled and cubed for downloading, whenever you come in within range, you know would you like me that album that John sent you, grab it like that, so. That’s… you’ve got to be kidding, you’ve got to lead me in the direction you want to because I can waft off on different tangents.

That’s okay… What if, to ensure that there isn’t a [xxxxx]

Okay, that’s okay.

To ensure that outcome.


All the things that need to be done early.

I think, an EPOS for anybody and everybody should be the start of the customer experience and like that, because the Telco push approach has been, you know kill people with you know different tech terms to kill to… whatever. If you look at the customer experience back, that’s just a common sense approach. You look at okay, the difference between the Telco people and the media people, is media people know a lot more about taste, and a lot more about preferences, you know they live or die by their content, by ratings.

What media people aren’t interested in at all, is that media people aren’t used to talking to individuals, the individual consumers, Telcos are but, I take your point.


And at least the media people have got what they want.

Yes, but what if media people could actually have feedback mechanisms, then perhaps…

Having said what I just said…


Of course then what I might add is the subscription television which [xxxxx] first gap.

Yes. Yes. Yes. And even say, you look at say online newspapers and things like that, perhaps the mechanism, the feedback mechanism will be sophisticated enough to work out. I look at sports first, I look at news second, maybe there’ll be dynamic menus, you know, all programming so there will dynamic program guides. And then perhaps even if you play it or do it or select it, but think…

I think the key point is putting the consumer first.

I think so because if you think of the consumer first, then you’ll come up with… you’ll sort out all the mess, but if VHS versus BETA versus whatever, you know looking at VHS versus BETA, looking at okay, what does the consumer want to do with their tape? Maybe record something on the TV, or maybe they want to get it from a video store. Okay if there are no BETA video stores in your area, you know it’s looking at the consumer first, looking at what they’re going to do, so.

This is what’s been the craziest about all of the different kinds of CD and DVD.


And mobiles and computers, and we ask them [xxxxx] get faster [xxxxx] at all.

That takes us towards your worst case scenario because it’s just too hard. Because if you can’t get… if you’re not confident in your purchase, the easiest thing is not to purchase.

Yes. Not to purchase.

The easiest thing is to step away and not bother. You know even seeing Foxtel digital, like one example, my Dad totally tech illiterate, but he’s a high consumer of many different things. He went to install Foxtel digital and he didn’t realise that the phone was needed for back access, as a back access channel, now the phone, the point of where the phone was too far away from the TV, unless we were going to put a wireless thing in, by then they lost him. He came to the point where, first of all he was paranoid about his phone line being used for something beyond his control.

Beyond his control, yes.

So that was alarm bell number one started ringing, and then I think they had to put some wireless access point in, because it wasn’t close enough to the TV, so second. Some other and the third… and the thing that really killed it was I think they actually wanted a fee. Because there is actually some charge for the wireless accessing. So he said, forget about it, I don’t want it. So he was actually sold on digital.


And what happened was…

They blew him up.

They just blew the whole thing. They blew the sale. And he’s not interested, he doesn’t want to know about it.


Now if you multiply him out by a massive number in the population, that’s you know… and I look at people like that as a [xxxxx] test case, because I’m too technical, I’m too into it, I’m too close to most things. But looking again, or even looking at something like Blue Tooth, getting off the track a little bit, there is a lot of headsets now that work with your phone, but you have actually got to pair them, so you have to discover this connection between them, people couldn’t do that so, just write that off for him. If he can get into his car, and there is one shift that we’re actually trying at the moment, get into his car and the phone was switched from this little speaker here, to the whole thing, without him doing anything. If it’s all in there, he’d be able to do it.


But so, you have got to look at, yeah look at the customer first and look at the mainstream power, look at the population, the tech minority is a minority in an earlier [xxxxx] of whatever, you look at your curves and stuff, it’s a tiny amount. So I think the thing for everyone is to look at the actual simplicity things, look at the actual value, the benefit and the… you know, what’s in it for me?

If you owned the world, if there was one, well not if there was one thing, but if you were in charge and could name [xxxxx], is there anything beyond what you’ve said that you would really want to do, would it be resetting common standards, would it be…?

I think things like common standards and all of that is business practice because nobody can do it all by themselves, so you know there is going to have to be, say for example, okay if you look at a mega Turner sort of person or a mega Murdoch sort of person, that wants to rule the world regarding media. The actual devices they won’t rule, so say for example they’ve got to have common formats for the devices, so they might have to partner with a Nokia, it might rule on part of the equation. So I think partnering is really important and I think like you asked before about standards, I think partnering will probably determine the standards, quality standards.

That’s interesting.

And actually I’ve got a book I can lend you, it’s on mobile from these people, the micro billing people, that might give you a bit of inspiration, because that’s what they’re saying. They monitor the services to the mobiles in Japan 5 years ago, and in the GSM world, in the western world, they followed one standard which was called BLACK, and that was a technology driven standard, a Telco driven standard that never went anywhere, and it still hasn’t gone anywhere. In Japan they did it the opposite. They thought, what’s the path of least resistance? They followed a cut down standard that piggybacks off the Internet, so the people that have got Internet properties could easily deploy them with one day’s rendering to do all… your whole, you could change your whole set up of mobile version where the WAP technology driven standard, met on mobile, you had to reformat everything from scratch. That’s what they call a quasi standard. And that was the least path of resistance. Now quasi standards like that are hard to regulate and you can’t tell, you can’t have a regulation saying you must use HTML for Internet. But if there is a quasi standard out there where you have some of the major players get together, and think, yeah because you think… again look at the Internet, it’s not going to fly unless everybody collaborates. The customer doesn’t want 50 different Internets. They don’t want a Netscape Internet, and a Microsoft Internet, or Apple Internet or whatever, they just want one Internet, Big Google, the Internet and where you just type in simple, so. Again if you look at the customer experience take, they want their TV, and a simple remote, you know, look at even the remote control design, some of them are too complicated and whatever, if it’s… the mandate should be, the customer is whatever, more than the jolly green little giant. The customer is like their licence, live or die by the customer. So look at the remote being simple, look at the whole process being simple.

I’m [xxxxx] good [xxxxx].

Yeah. Well even that, like it’s not reliable, this computer is voice activated, I can show you some stuff.

The only reason that I’m saying it, is [xxxxx] because as you get beyond the age of about 45.


You tend to wear different glasses for looking at television than you do for the [xxxxx]…


And I mean it’s…


It’s not…

Unless your TV had massive big buttons or on screen or something.

That’s right.

Maybe it is a bit onscreen display where you have, you know, why not?

And where’s your fun, you’re still going to look everywhere you can…

True, true, true. So I think what’s got to happen is it’s got to start with the customer and the whole process, and the experience as well. The remote control design is on one planet and the screen design is on another planet and the subscription people are on another planet, should all be I guess integrated to, integrated… it’s just a holistic approach, so the customer experience, so the customer shouldn’t care less about anything, it’s the remote control designers have got to go to Atlanta and talk to the people, how to actually index content and do whatever. That’s their job.

And that seems to be where the genius of [xxxxx] technology.


Demands more [xxxxx] nothing the customer [xxxxx] the most pleasurable thing of all the decisions [xxxxx] most of their lives.

Exactly. Exactly, so I think that’s the mandate again, if I owned the world or ruled the world the mandate should be, look at the customer, so make it simple, make if affordable, make it enjoyable and whatever, like taste matters. It’s like natural selection I guess in terms of programming anyway. People don’t watch stuff they don’t like, so that will die anyway. But even affordable too, like you’ve got to be realistic and if it’s like a $1,000 for something and whatever a month and whatever, it won’t fly so. Again that’s looking at the customer first, and working back. I think that will be a…

[xxxxx] which is where you started from?



Yeah how is that in [xxxxx] you are probably going to get…