Seven West Media CEO Tim Worner has confirmed the company expects to launch its Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV (HbbTV) service by May next year.
Speaking this morning following the release of Seven West’s results for the last financial year, which showed a $70 million loss, Worner said that HbbTV product development has commenced, and when switched on, will open up "exciting possibilities for advertisers and audiences".
"By May next year, we will be delivering hybrid broadcast services to connected TVs, we are very determined that our traditional model will fully harness the opportunity that broadband access can provide,” he said, adding that: “All this is to support our ambition to deliver our premium content to anyone, anytime, on any device."
Seven West said that from costing point of view, a large chunk of HbbTV development is being absorbed in its day to day operations.
"The way we think about HbbTV is that it’s become part of our core business, in how we operate,” said Seven West's CFO at the briefing.
"That’s not to say there won’t be incremental costs as you get this off the ground, but it’s being treated as part of the business.”
Although Australians have already been able to watch the internet through smart TVs, HbbTV’s will provide simultaneous internet/broadcast viewing, something smart Tvs cannot deliver,
"We know the way our customers consume content is changing fast, we have tested and retested our strategy accordingly,” said Worner.
Meanwhile, the Seven West chief has become the latest big name in Australian media to back EMMA (enhanced media metrics Australia), which was released on Monday.
"We’re obviously loving EMMA,” said Worner. “It’s more frequent, it includes online audiences, it’s more granular, and it's audited. Suffice to say we’re looking forward to the next release of figures.”