Funding content, funding networks: what matters?

On 16 February we will be hosting an event for the UK Chapter of the International Institute of Communications. The event’s title is ‘Funding content, funding networks: what matters?’ and will be addressing the perceived disconnect between content creators and the telecoms sector and the consequential impact of network and content investment.

The discussion will be moderated by my partner John Enser, who amongst his other activities has for the last five years been the co-author of the Olswang Convergence survey – which looks at convergence in terms of its effects: “it means the technological developments which result in an end-user having much greater choice and control over his or her consumption of content in the home and/or on the move, such that he or she decides what to watch, when to watch it, and on what devices, rather than this being determined by technological constraints…for us, convergence is…increasingly about how well-informed consumers will use the functionality and content which is available to them across the full range of devices, platforms and services they own or receive”. As one of the major issues identified in last year’s survey was the increasing ability and willingness of end-users to pay, he is well placed to challenge and referee the other speakers.

The other speakers are:

  • Will Page, Chief Economist, PRS Music. His role at PRS for Music is to provide analytical support to colleagues within the organisation and to provide economic insight to the media industry as a whole. His most notable work to date has been a collaboration with Eric Garland of BigChampagne titled ‘In Rainbows, On Torrents’, which asked whether the Radiohead legal free offering could compete with illegal free.  He also challenged the popular Long Tail theory, illustrating how the demand for digital music followed a log normal distribution – where the gap between hits and niche widens, as opposed to narrows. His most recent work has been focused on the impact of ‘editorial’ in digital media markets, and this has involved exclusive collaborations with services like We7 and Spotify, His Economic Insight papers have been covered in The Economist, Financial Times and all major broadsheets and blogs.


  • Antony Walker, CEO, Broadband Stakeholder Group and Director of Strategy, Intellect. In 2002 Antony was appointed as chief executive of the Broadband Stakeholder Group (BSG), which was set up by government to advise on the development and implementation of the UK’s broadband strategy. Antony has been closely involved with broadband policy development since the BSG was established and is the author of three major BSG reports to government.


  • Matt Rogerson, Senior Public Affairs Manager, Virgin Media In the time Matt has been with Virgin Media he has focussed on issues ranging from Ofcom’s pay tv market investigation, the BBC funded Project Canvas or Youview as it’s now known, the Digital Economy Act, and the Coalition Government’s developing Broadband Strategy and BDUK pilot process.

Technology permitting, I will try to provide a live ‘tweet commentary’ during the event, and blog about the issues discussed afterwards. Tickets are available from the IIC, so I hope to see some of you there.