Kevin Spacey recently gave a clear explanation of TV’s changing landscape. The future is user driven, and the established order doesn’t like it. What Spacey notes is that time, place and length don’t matter anymore. Users want to control when and how they consume media.
If you are watching a film on your television, is it no longer a film because you’re not watching it in the theater?’ Spacey asked his audience. ‘If you watch a TV show on your iPad is it no longer a TV show? The device and length are irrelevant.’ Labels are useless, the actor told the suits, ‘except perhaps to agents and managers and lawyers who use these labels to conduct business deals. ‘For the kids watching the shows, however, ‘there’s no difference watching Avatar on an iPad or watching YouTube on a TV and watching Game of Thrones on their computer. It’s all content. It’s all story.’
This, of course, runs completely counter to big media’s business model, which is still anchored in the 20th century. As we’ve seen before, tactics always lag behind technology, and those who adapt fastest win. That’s the result we’re seeing with Netflix, which is purchasing new seasons of TV shows and releasing them in bulk, at a very nice profit. The moral of the story? If people are buying digital devices they’re going to want, and find, digital content to enjoy on them. The media industry may be digging in its heals, guarding an old business model, but change happens. Better find a way to make money digitally because that’s where customers are going.
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