This article was picked up by broadbandtvnews here.
We are currently experimenting an interesting phase on the 3D TV “hype cycle” (http://3dcontentblog.wordpress.com/2011/07/11/the-hype-cycle-of-3d-tv/ ) with a few very promising statistics coming from Asia and Middle East (http://t.co/WqwzlAfQ) .
In a few European countries 3D seems to be taking off slower than expected. This week the news that Canal+ is ceasing its 3D channel has shocked various stakeholders in the industry. Disclaimer: As distributor of 3D content I am biased, but here is my opinion and two reasons why Canal+ 3D failed:
If any player in any country launches a 3D initiative (VOD offering or broadcast channel) it has to be a serious effort with a longterm view. Obviously the penetration of 3D TVs at the moment is too low to really justify such an offering. As with any innovation, it takes time for exponential growth to occur. The beginning years are just to position your brand and occupy marketshare – not to make profits. This, of course is a difficult situation when a larger corporation derives 99% of the revenues and profits with 2D content. A typical case of innovator’s dilemma http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Innovator%27s_dilemma . just imagine the board meetings….
Furthermore, if you go into 3D, you have to offer a large variety of quality content. Canal+’s lineup was far too small and not diverse enough. This is surprising because in France there is a thriving community of 3D production companies, many of whom I had the chance to meet during my presentation at Dimension3 in Paris last May. You cannot satisfy your audience with a few fresh hours per week and a high rate of re-runs. Instead it would have been wise to invest into acquiring 2-3 year broadcasting rights for various genres. Documentaries, Arts/Performances, Independent Films, Animation. Many large corporations focus too heavily on blockbuster movies (mostly action) and top sport events. Both are very expensive and have a limited shelf life. In fact, most sport events lose their entire commercial value after the initial live broadcast. In comparison you can achieve a much larger and more diverse content portfolio with small pocket change. This lineup will also satisfy a wider demographic (not only the male in the household)
For these reasons we offer about 50 hours of stereoscopic 3D content in various genres (except blockbusters and sports events) to our clients. We see that companies that make a serious effort and offer a wide variety of 3D genres are already successful. Luckily, other French players are already in the market.