Microsoft’s Ashley Highfield: ‘We must face piracy head on’

Ashley Highfield once said he intended to “bring about the end of broadcast media as we know it”. So the TV executives soon to assemble in Edinburgh will want to know how close Microsoft UK’s managing director of consumer and online is to his goal when he delivers the Futureview address at this year’s festival.The BBC’s former digital chief and the man behind the launch of the iPlayer says he feels “guarded optimism for Britain and the creative knowledge economy” despite the advertising downturn. “There are some issues around intellectual property protection but I am pretty optimistic about the TV industry,” he says. “There is an expectation of all doom and gloom – look at ITV’s results – and the move to the internet. However, I’m going to suggest a number of themes typical to the internet, which if embraced could see a new dawn of TV.”

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