30 12 / 2012
When I was 15 we only had one television in my house and no internet and this was pretty normal. Most weeks we’d rent some videos and we’d go to the cinema some weekends, and we’d watch whatever episodes of our favorite tv shows when they aired or else we would hopefully tape it, know someone who taped it, or miss that episode probably forever.
When I watched something I would really watch it and I would do as little as possible else until I had finished watching it. This is how many people still consume media today but the internet has changed me. Probably not for the better.
The way I consume media today is very different. Movies and tv shows have become radio with an optional picture that I’m only going to devote my full attention to if it’s something great. That’s what makes going to the cinema so awesome for me, a rare 2 - 3 hour block of being completely focused on a movie when I literally won’t even watch most movies for free.
Piracy has transformed Hollywood (term used loosely) into the radio, the value is the stream of constant entertainment, not the individual movies and shows that are easily distributed and uncontrollable to the point where online people frequently get to watch movies weeks or months before offline people.
Next year this is all going to start changing.
Steam is going to have a set top box and a movie that’s also going to be a game and we’ll be able to watch it or play in it in a Source-powered sandbox world where you can explore the movie and characters deeper. This is a pretty big budget (15m euros) and if it works by 2015 we’ll have a sitcom slash virtual world that’ll be bigger than WoW.
At the same time we haveGoogle’s Project Glass, imagine what they can superimpose with your vision to enhance any movie - correcting the image for the tilt of your head or vision impairments, subtitles in any language, real time translation to your language without affecting anyone else. And then there’s the augmenting reality stuff.
Apple have been rumored to be tackling television for years which everyone assumes means a tv set which doesn’t make much sense, those are 100 pound, once a decade purchases with delivery and installation hassles. Absolutely nothing sexy about that.
I don’t think Apple or Google are going to redefine “movie” but I do think they will both make compelling improvements to the existing ways we consume TV. Their real selling point is going to be portability, multi-purpose, and all of us existing customers who are of course, locked in.
This is the next hd format war and the cable tv killer and the piracy killer all in one, it starts next year and the winner is going to own our media experience till these companies are the “old media giants who don’t get it”.
Notably absentees include Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, Amazon and Netflix, with the exception of Netflix any of these companies + a few others could be working on something but I can’t imagine them taking the lead.