The pace of change in media is happening so fast, most of us have barely wrapped our minds around current accepted notions, just as they are swept aside by technology driven evolution. All of this overwhelms me, and I grasp that it is well out of our control. But observing these patterns emerge is instructive and that’s why I think these four media trends are worth watching.
The iPad Changes How We Consume and Publish Media
I was at the local coffee shop the other day and a woman looking at the newspaper stand caught my eye. As I stirred my coffee, I watched as she stood hunched over reading as much as she could above the fold. I wondered if she’d be moved to buy the paper, but when here latte was ready on the bar, she grabbed it and left. It occurred to me that there are folks who simply don’t want to have to deal with stacks of paper anymore.
The iPad is a further step, started by readers like the Kindle, towards an infinite world of rich personal media consumption that lives in the palm of your hand. The iPad is also forcing publishers to adopt HTML5 standards and has drawn a line in the sand on Adobe Flash. From the White House to legacy media, web publishers are scrambling to re-tool their sites to be “iPad compliant” – and develop content apps for the device.
So this simple device has created a huge shift in how we create and consume content. That’s power.
If the tablet device and Apple’s associated online shops become popular enough, the company could have a chokehold over publishing technology and content itself. It could become as central to the future of print media as it has become to the future of music..
How Apple Is Dogfighting To Control Your News – Ryan Tate, Gawker
Apple’s disdain for Adobe Flash also means that publishers who monetize with flash based banner ads are going to face considerable challenges. But Steve Jobs has a plan for that as well it seems. A report in Ars Technica reveals that Apple is planning to launch a mobile ad network. Now I won’t be one of those people standing in line when the iPad is released for sale in stores, but I will be paying attention to it’s impact on the publishing industry. Here’s a look at the elegant iPad version of Popular Science. (HT Jason Kotttke)
Web TV Set Top Boxes Liberate the Living Room From Cable Box Tyranny
In 2006, friend and web entrepreneur Jeff Pulver launched Network2, a web video network that he hoped would come to rival traditional TV networks. Network2 never developed as hoped, and TV networks, while facing challenges, are still standing. I think he and others in that space were just a tiny bit ahead of their time.
We recently bought a 42 inch LCD TV and a BlueRay DVD player. Both of these devices have network connectivity. The DVD player has Blockbuster, Netflix, YouTube and Pandora built in. Now that Google and a host of others have introduced set top IPTV boxes, I think there are new opportunities to build new Network2’s. Like Apple, Google has the strength of a well established ad network behind it. People are hungry for web content on the big screen. “Digital living technologies” research firm Parks Associates just released their Digital Lifestyles: 2010 Outlook report. In it they find that consumers are hobbling together game consoles and PC’s to deliver web content to their TVs.
consumer interest in Web-on-TV applications is so strong that households are making their own connections via PCs and game consoles. From 2008 to 2009, the number of U.S. households using Web-connected game consoles increased by 64%, and the number connecting a PC to a TV increased by 36%, according to the firm’s latest report Digital Lifestyles: 2010 Outlook.
Whoever delivers an easy to use system of delivering web content to the big screen will create new opportunities for content creators and audiences alike. “Flipping channels” on the internet seems to be in our not too distant future.
Location Based Apps Unlock Highly Targeted Ad Opportunities
Earlier this year the technology world was abuzz with the revelation that Facebook had won a patent on its news feed. While somewhat overlooked and of equal significance, Google was awarded a patent for Determening and/or using location information in an ad system. As location based apps continue to rise in popularity, brands, consumers and media are discovering new and useful ways of interacting with one another. Marketing strategists have long been predicting the death of display advertising on the web. From clutter, to intrusiveness, to infinite inventory – those banner ads are pretty useless and easily blocked.
We’re moving away from interruption marketing and enter a world where advertising blends harmoniously with consumers in their everyday life. – Samir Balwani, Morpheus Media
Local, relevant, targeted, location based mobile ads do exactly that – usually when the consumer is near the point of purchase. Or as Ryan Sholin puts it, it’s advertising “Street by Street, Block by Block” Still, Google and ComScore have given publisher reason to believe there’s room for improvement – and perhaps hope for unlimited creative potential in display advertising’s future.
3DTV is a Visual Game Changer
While 3DTV made quite a splash at CES this year, the technology sounded a bit faddish to me. But the more I hear about it, the more I’m coming to beileve it’s the real deal. My friend and fellow news cameraman cum new media trailblazer, Tom Murphy, recently had the chance to see the technology firsthand out in Burbank. Tom, also a skeptic initially, has been made a convert.
The difference here is that this is more than just incremental change.
I am writing this as a convert. Just a few days ago if anyone has asked me what I thought of 3DTV I would have grimaced a little, murmured a few niceties and ended my answer with a sentence containing the words “marketing gimmick”… TV in action I can honestly say that this is not some incremental change in technology, but has all the signs of being a complete game changer. – Tom Murphy from “3DTV: Not a Marketing Gimmick, Rather an Awesome Viewing Experience”
And because Tom is someone I trust, I’m in 3DTV’s corner now as well.
This last example of transformative technology will require creation of new libraries of 3D content. Panasonic has developed a prosumer HD 3D camera for those early adopters who want to get ahead of the curve.
So these are four technology trends I see shaping how we create and consume media in our daily lives. How do you see these new trends shaping your media habits? Or if you are a content creator, how will these change your approach to content creation? Are there media trends that I’ve overlooked? As always, I look forward to your input.