ENTERTAINMENT PAGE-THE FUTURE OF ENTERTAINMENT
The end of December heralds a new decade and the wonderment of what 2020 will bring us to make our lives even happier.
Futurists spend just as much time looking back as they do forward. 20 years ago we were surrounded by early smartphones, Tamagotchi virtual pets, Palm Pilots and MiniDisc players.
MySpace and Napster both went live, and they signaled a radical change in distribution. What happened when people would share movies, songs, games and news content with their peers rather than buying from a store?
Google and Yahoo! had just launched and were freely available to everyone from their inception – without needing to download software.
News organizations were headed into a downward slump. How would the internet and early smartphones impact the business of news?
Twenty years later, social networks have permanently shifted the distribution of content. How will we now convince Gen Z, Millennials and Gen X to pay for content?
Will streaming platforms survive all of these new planned subscription models? Or will this lead to even more consolidation?
We don’t know when 5G will roll out everywhere, and we’re questioning the business cases and infrastructure models for 5G.
We’re always at the beginning of an evolution.
Synthetic media offers new opportunities and challenges. Japanese pop star Hatsune Miku, American influencer Lil Miquela and Chinese news anchor Xin Xiaomeng are synthetic media. They were generated using large databases and specially-trained algorithms, and they represent a new world of synthesized content. Synthetic media can be modulated and responsive to our tastes and preferences. But we don’t have ethical guidelines on how to use synthetic media. There is no obligation to inform consumers that something (a person, pet, place or object) has been algorithmically generated.
Authenticating content is becoming more difficult. Deepfakes — videos created using AI that can make it look like someone said or did something they have never done — are spreading faster than anyone anticipated. The problem is that faked videos are only the beginning. While we’re fixated on deepfake videos, especially ahead of the 2020 US elections, there are many more “deep [x]” applications casting an ominous shadow on the horizon. Researchers are already able to replicate and modulate voices, mimic body movements and gestures, and anticipate and generate reactive behaviors.
Regulation is coming…. Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook are under investigation. Germany’s domestic anti-trust authority is investigating big tech companies, while France and Great Britain are pushing for a digital tax. Platform regulation and taxation will impact the distribution of content, and there are likely to be reverberating impacts on how every organization collects and uses consumer data.
We’ve entered the post-fixed screen era. By the summer of 2019, Apple disclosed a slump in iPhone revenue – it was down 12% year over year. Samsung reported the same. Part of the reason is price: consumers just aren’t willing to drop $1,000 or more on a mobile phone. However there are other forces in play: smart wearables, smart speakers, and home automation devices.
In the next few years, consumers won’t rely on the single, fixed screens of their mobile devices, but will instead transition to a diverse, multi-interface ecosystem.
In developed markets, half of the interactions consumers have with computers will be using voice by the end of 2020. This isn’t just about talking to a smart speaker. Voice interfaces are now everywhere, from smart speakers to home appliances to kiosks. Consumers should expect to talk more often than they type. This impacts every entertainment, media and technology company, and as a result, there will be a new emphasis on voice search optimization (VSO). Consumers who want to get news, listen to music, play games and watch their favorite shows and movies are going to have to pay a la carte, which means spending way more for content (unlikely) or prioritizing for a budget. They’ll have a lot to choose from: PlayStation Now, Spotify, Netflix, Audible, CBS All Access, Google Stadia, Jump, Shadow, Amazon.com, Hulu, Apple, Playkey and the upcoming streaming services from Walt Disney, Comcast NBCUniversal and AT&T’s WarnerMedia division.
The future’s so bright, we’d better get darker shades!