Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Autonomy, BBC and all that stuff

A big thank you to everyone who attended the Princes Trust Technology Leadership Group summer reception atop Barclay in Canary Wharf.

Ashley Highfield from the BBC gave a great presentation on his vision for video. The glimpse of how the BBC archive might become available and searchable on the web was inspiring. Ashley made the point that it wasn't just the 'popular' programmes but the vast wealth of specialist stuff - eg History programmes available for student research - that wuld be available. Also the ability for advertisers (they are using a variety of sources like Youtube for this) to target niche groups who wanted to view specific archive programmes (his example, was "How to look after Koy Carp..") He also outlined how the BBC had organised a "Hacksville" Day; inviting developers to come up with ideas on how to advance the service. One was a Facebook app which allowed Facebook members to list and review the BBC programmes they had watched with direct links to the video.

Contrary to early statements, Ashley told me that I shuold easily be able to use iPlayer on a mobile device. I'll have to test that out when it becomes available. But I am sceptical of the claim even with 3G!

Mike Lynch from Autonomy was equally interesting. This was a few hours before today's announcement that Autonomy that Q2 results were "significantly ahead of expectations". Autonomy shares up 9% today as a result. That means in rough terms they have doubled in the last year and up 4x in the last two years. Autonomy have also announced the acquisition of Zantaz Inc - a content archiving company - for $375m. this adds c$100m rev. They are undertaking a $75m placomg to raise funds for the purchase.

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