founder says TV is in a good position – if they react quickly

Martha Lane Fox, co-founder of and non-executive member of the Channel 4 management board, spoke last night at the Royal Television Society’s Annual Baird Lecture. Here’s the rundown on some of the key points:

  • Technology is hugely important, and must work well, but the idea is everything
  • Know your weaknesses and recruit great talent to plug the gaps
  • Marketing and PR are key – put yourself about and include headline-making content
  • A good online idea is something you couldn’t do offline – eBay, Amazon and Google are all good examples
  • With on-demand and other services, television has moved from having viewers to having customers, and having to service those customers. Conversely, businesses like have moved from having to deal with customers to having to manage content (often generated by users)
  • With the projected drop in ad revenue it is important that TV companies look at Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools – with on-demand you can see what users download; you can see what webpages they visit, what forums they post to, where they blog, what they are watching on mobile. This information is key.
  • C4’s move into radio is “a clever move” that shows they are “3-4 years ahead of the game”, “quite apart from trying to bring the Today programme to its knees”
  • Broadcasters are in a good position “if they react quickly and are clever”

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