Interesting. I have a screen here at work spiting out various random on the spot blog posts from the Future of Media Summit . Looking at the themes and points coming out forcibly takes me back to the mid to late 90s and even earlier. At today’s conference there is lots of discussion about how media is fragmenting, democratization of distribution, how personalization (your personal media cloud) is really where it’s at, the live web and a plethora of points about how video on the web has erm, generated a new advertising model. Yawn. Now I remember why I avoid ‘Future of…” conferences…
Seems all I have read from the Future Exploration Networks innovative and ground breaking (video link up – really, a video conference link…I did one of those in 96?!) between Sydney and San Francisco are not really exploring the future but each others guess as to what is really happening at the moment – cause no one really has a clue. It is deja vu, a recap of many European/Far East versions of the future from 10-15 years ago. In fact looking at most of my presentations and posts from years ago on this and other blogs cover most of the points, especially about personalised media (oh yes thats the title). For example Ross Dawson’s‚ future of media topics I covered in presentations circa 1999 – a few recents are in my slideshare group which I rarely promote or on this PDF page which has some earlier ones and notably in this fun view of 2009 I did in Perth back in 2000 (compare the two). First here is oft self-promoted Ross Dawson’s vision of what is shaping the Future of Media…
Ross Dawson 2008
Media and entertainment industries growing massively. Seven driving forces shaping media
- Increasing media consumption – ‘we want to swim in an ocean of media all the time’
- Fragmentation – proliferation of new channels (mobile, video, etc)
- Participation – people sharing their stories
- Personalisation – of content & advertising, issues with privacy
- New revenue models – advertising networks
- Generational change – younger people becoming dominant in marketplace
- Increasing bandwidth – shifting what is currently being delivered over other channels > iPhone mania
Personal Cloud – content we own and create – From this rains down the ‘precipitation of participation’ – sharing our photos, stories and lives with others – To what extent do we control our Personal Cloud?
Yes these are and have been shaping the future of media for the past 15 years at least – and then 2) my slightly cheeky predictions…drum roll…Future of Media in 2009 (from 2000’s Small Screen Big Picture)
Gary Hayes 2000
The World in 2009
- Every individual can become a producer of content which is available to everyone else – if they want it.
- Now anything is available on demand from anywhere over vast broadband networks.
- Everything is ‘pulled’, only personally relevant content is ‘pushed’.
- Everything can be made portable & kept forever
- The home becomes a personalised entertainment and life system where everything is centralised – games, video, shops, audio, text, email & vmail & banking.
- CD collections, home movies, personal photographs are stored here too
- ‘Open Standards’ killed off all proprietary platforms in 2005 and the large ‘trusted’ traditional broadcasters collaborated and produced one navigation system that all companies adopted
- All ‘content programme brands’ have elements in all of the above
- The words ‘TV’ ‘radio’ & ‘internet’ disappeared from our vocabulary. Even the word ‘interactive’ went – everything is now interactive
- The World Wide Web of early 2000 is regarded as a ‘low resolution’ pilot
- Scheduled ‘live video’ becomes a special group shared event – there is only one broadcast channel in each country – these events generate most online discussion
- True to all predictions the ‘interactive’ fridge becomes the most popular, connected device in the house
OK as with all “Future of Media” conferences we come to expect lots of waffle, fluffy guesses as to where Social Media or New Gadgets (iPhone, yawn) will really take us. Most talks I did for TV-Anytime and BBC around 2000-2003 covers most of the discussion around future of privacy, targeted ads and personal content systems. But bottom line it really it is about paranoia on the part of traditional media makers able to afford turning to high fee ‘futurist’ consultants who rarely produce anything apart from a ‘compelling’ stage presence and a book or two to sell. OK I am possibly being cruel but if the content industry is going to grow up it should stop looking for shiny jewels from crystal ball gazing, web trawling, big picture, space cadets and look to hands-on strategists who live and breathe this stuff. Most of the former are jumping on any myth/hype they can use to leverage interest in their ‘expertise’ but it is rarely about the future and often about regurgitating the past within the boundaries of this fresh new high bandwidth, on-demand, two way network. I have talked long and hard in the past about the separation between commentators and producers around cross-media and I have also pointed out academia needs to up its game. I don’t bother to win friends, as you can tell.
Unlike several folk at the Future of Media conference I rarely self-promote as being worthy of title of visionary (and any one up pens their own websites with those words in the title should be seriously steered clear of). But to be like them I thought I would throw in a bunch of my own quotes I normally pull out for wall stickers on LAMP courses: (Some others here)
“If you are not passionate about the empowerment potential of your interactive creation or find something new in it yourself at every turn, you should not call yourself an interactive producer” Gary Hayes 2005
“True interactivity should require users to give something of themselves and for the ‘system’ to resonate with that. If all you ask them to put in is selecting a series of vacuous pre-built options, their engagement is minimal and all they will truly get out is a series of vacuous outcomes.” Gary Hayes 2005
“Over a 15 year, medium term broadband future terms such as Film, TV, Radio & the Internet will start to disappear from our next generation’s vocabulary. Audiences will interactively share & access video, audio and games across a sea of devices, partly oblivious of appointment-to-view in the 20th Century.” Gary Hayes – Snr Producer, BBC. 2000
“The ‘My Media Generation’ are experienced multitaskers. They are used to browsing, jumping between devices and physical locations. Services that do not integrate this in to the design will be lost in the noise. One must create story that permeates their world, playing with the fact that they are already enjoying self-induced, parallel experiences.” Gary Hayes 2005
“The future may be cross-media but it is also interactive multi-modal devices at home and on the move that connect to every source and every media type” Gary Hayes 2005
“Just as humans eventually were unable to tame the complexity and scale of the physical universe so it will be with our media universe. The only course of action will be to send personalised intelligent agents, reconnaissance drones, deep into the content cosmos to capture relevance. The personalized future will be a world where rich audio visual and game media orbits around the digital you – occasionally being sucked into your ‘realm’ like stars pulled by forces unknown into black holes” Gary Hayes, Space Cadet 2004
We are all guilty of Weasel Words when we are asked the ‘where is it all heading question’ but there are others who base their careers on them. Typical ones heard in many a consultation session, “Social Media has enormous implications, it will change the business forever” or how about “Video on the web will produce a sea change of advertising models” or “These social virtual browser based web worlds could be very important for your brand” – client: yes we guessed that, but please tell us how it will in detail, what we need to do to change, in detail and by the way, have you ‘lived’ our business.
But lets make this post interactive, which one are you hands-on strategist or space cadet weasel word waffler?