Rapid uptake of broadband in the UK means print publications that cannot evolve successfully on the internet will lose more ground to online rivals, says Westminster University lecturer David Dunkley Gyimah.

Mr Gyimah sees a future where the web is the major distribution channel for broadcasters and these groups will supply their content to online publishers as well as print magazines that want to extend their brand on the internet.

To prove his point Mr Gyimah is launching a monthly online magazine this week the View focusing on urban and black culture.

The View provides content from professional broadcast journalists and producers in South Africa, the US and Europe in a format designed for web users with broadband connections. Users can flick through the magazine page by page and can view video features presented in multiple windows.

Mr Gyimah has already discussed the format with OK magazine, suggesting that broadcast content could be produced as journalists carry out traditional celebrity interviews, for example. The package could also be adapted for display on large-scale screens in public places, much like the BBC has done with TV news screens in London's railway stations.

However, echoing the words of BBC News Online head Richard Deverell, Mr Gyimah said that very few publishers in the UK really understand the potential of the net.

"I don't doubt there is huge interest in creating richer content, but they have stuck with pricing models and structural models that they understand," said Mr Gyimah.

"It will be the little sites that influence them - like Heavy.com."

US-based Heavy.com, another magazine site designed for broadband users, has been a big influence on the View. The site claims around 4 million viewers – a figure that many of the UK's biggest broadcasters now struggle to reach, even at peak TV viewing times.

The format sets an exciting precedent for the possibilities of a new public service broadcaster, as proposed by Ofcom in its recent review of UK public service broadcasting. The regulator recommended that a new 'public service publisher' would help meet the demands of the digital age by using new technology to deliver broadcast content. Such a project is expected to be worth around £3 billion.

Mr Gyimah believes internet delivery will become the standard distribution network for TV programmes.

"It's up to us to push the potential. Within a few years broadband connections will be even faster, and web-based broadcasting is likely to become the norm," he said.

The View website was designed using Flash, ActiveX and Director, and can be viewed without using a third party streaming tool such as Windows Media Player or Real Player. Without such barriers viewers can watch video content straight away. This technique could be problematic for broadcasters tied into long-term deals with software firms, said Mr Gyimah.

A draft version of the monthly magazine is online now, though the full first edition will be live next week with a special US election supplement.

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