Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Big Small Screen

The HBO series Game of Thrones was the most illegally downloaded programme in 2012. Twenty-four hours after the first episode of its third season aired, 1 million people downloaded illegal copies from file-sharing sites. Usually, TV networks are up in arms about piracy, but HBO seems to be more concerned that viewers aren’t going to get great quality when they download illegal episodes. If you’re a real fan, eventually you’ll get sick of poor visuals and invest money to get a great experience. You buy the DVD set. You’ll “Like” them on Facebook. It becomes the topic of water cooler chatter.

Controlling what people do is always going to be challenge, especially if the model itself is changing. People are watching TV on other screens and they are getting rid of their television sets. Five million US households don’t own a television set anymore (this up from 2 million in 2007), but rather than kill the industry, the growth in the number of ‘ZeroTV’ households has played a part in the increasing popularity of programming.

This is the golden age of television. There is Downton Abbey, Breaking Bad, The Wire, Girls and Mad Men for starters. There is variety in theme, depth in story and character, and tons of cultural tie-ins. With mobile devices, people watch TV anywhere. With streaming websites, they can watch their favorite programme whenever they want. You don’t even need to a broadcasting company to bring out full season shows. Netflix has House of Cards and Arrested Development exclusively online for our viewing pleasure, which means more choice and better accessibility for the viewer – and that looks like progress to me.

1 comment:

chrisMsimon said...

:| hmmm… U have inspired me again KR! Firstly & most critically, happy Mothers Day to all the beautiful & hard working/thinking Mums out there; including mine who is really out there! :) Now! This post is all very well, but its 2nd qtr 2013 already & some of this stuff is decidedly 2.0. I can only hope that something rather than straightforward evolution happens soon, like 4G or 5G that works; & that kind of stuff ;) I sometimes think about that little ‘ol thing called Napster & what even 2.0 generic God, Tim O’ Reilly might really be thinking about today's reliance of some obscure tweet from someone only because they have one million followers. (Don’t watch “The Following”!) Let’s really think of what really legally changed everything from distribution of anything to today's real music copyright laws and not a system based on bids or bots, which is rather just like network marketing of the last twenty years! I’m going to have to call up one of the Elders here, because I trust him more than highly paid (also elder) alarmists like Todd Sampson through to highly paid comedy like The Project, (although I love it!). Gabriel did not need to publish news or reality show, but accurately predicted second generation web, well before he was sharing real conversation with real astronauts on the real free invitation of NASA. And during the time he made all his many first accurate tech predictions, they had to give the latest credit crash a new name. So as an excuse they called it a dotcom crash. But it was a global financial crisis, just like the last one and just like the next. And Gabriel kept on being accurate. Built on just a few of his sentences that were often shorter in length than many tweets with one million followers,just some of these could have been executed:
1/ Sub sectors of the music and film industry would “own” file and information sharing that would only be administered by Google. It’s likely that Sony or Warner would be iTunes.
2/ Some networks of newspaper & TV owners would really have started a “revolution”. Post 1998, none did! This is because they all talked it and never walked it. Apple and Google walked it.
3/ Apple and Google walked it because they rarely called it revolution, but often,(after Gabriel,Bowie,Eno, me and many others) called it cultural evolution and even made evolution cool. Most critically – Apple and Google were and always will be intuitive with a big I & small i-
4/ The revolution (in one of Gabriel’s sentences) could easily have been licensed content files. Music could be written specifically as film & not just sound track. And so could advertising!
5/ The revolution is still novelists selling screenplays to US, Europe and Asia based app publishers.
6/ Trailers that have real seamless apps are around the corner; but as blockbusters & not just teasers.
7/ Content mediocrity sadly can become viral or multi-sub-set. But it’s still only evolution and not revolution.
8/ Commercial structure that is now like bidding networks with a lot of robots wandering around will never disappear, (evolution too).
9/ But hybrid open user-generation is already making swirling profits. Don’t call it 3G, 4G, 5G or even label it. But imagine it to be juxtaposed separate sections that can be thrown in the air and land as one composite. What goes up keeps going up.
10/ Might just be me, but the Google Mothers Day doodle should be applauded. Its intuitiveness could educate a Nation. Because it’s no longer just a scribble.