HOLLYWOOD, Calif., April 9, 2014 — No one really knows what the future of digital entertainment may hold. Even “Real Housewives” visionary Lauren Zalaznick has admitted to enduring bouts of digital head trauma as the “disruption” of the entertainment industry continues at a breakneck pace.
Yes, Hollywood, get use to it. This is the new normal.
For years, insiders have predicted television’s rapid demise, but they were wrong. Yes, everything from YouTube to second screen diversions has caused headaches for advertisers. But TV has survived this ongoing business disruption better than the newspaper or music industries have. Industry insiders have finally learned that disruptive technologies and innovations are really an uncomfortable “convergence.”
A few of these entertainment insiders are even learning to enjoy this Internet onslaught, likening it to a roller coaster of the digital variety. Hollywood execs shared their industry insights recently in a series of articles published by NATPE.
1. Yahoo! and Google will begin to mimic TV.
NATPE CEO Rod Perth says that digital platforms still have much to learn from the TV industry and they have finally realized it. “The world of digital content and publishers like Yahoo! AOL, Microsoft, and Google are recognizing best practices that television has developed over the 60 years are in fact best practices that will work online. Producing serious production value TV shows and recognizing the whole notion of channels is important as well.” – Rod Perth, President and CEO, NATPE
2. Consumers are consuming content 24 hours a day.
YuMe’s Ed Haslem says that audiences don’t just consume content. They live and die by it. “If you analyze demographics – it appears as if consumers are consuming content 24 hours a day. What’s really happening is they’re watching multiple streams of content at the same time.” – Ed Haslem, Senior VP of Marketing, YuMe
3. It’s not about one platform; it’s about multi-platform.
The key is expanding platforms. It’s all about the opportunity to broaden viewership. “We are moving from being TV-centric to being videocentric which means all media companies are thinking beyond one platform.” – Alberto Cuirana, President, Univision
4. Multi-camera sitcoms go the way of the dinosaur.
“Friends” creator Marta Kauffmann says that digital technology is also impacting the form and style of the beloved sitcom. “I don’t think the standard multi-camera series is going to do what it used to, like when “Friends” was around, when it was all syndication. Multi-camera doesn’t have the same intimate feeling. When you binge-watch you’re in your PJs, you’re in your bed, you’re folding your laundry… Shooting single-camera instead of multi-camera has really helped to get more intimate and get in closer.” – Marta Kauffman, creator of “Friends”
5. The end of Netflix or wishful thinking?
Take this trend forecast with a grain of salt: “There won’t be a need for Netflix once broadcasters and media companies finalize negotiations and roll out their TV everywhere services. Following a slow start, the challenge is that TV everywhere is not working now…. Netflix had gained an early advantage in the market place. Netflix continues to ramp up its original programming efforts with such shows as “House of Cards,” a trend likely to continue as broadcast groups consolidate their TV everywhere efforts.” – David Levy, Turner Broadcasting
6. 4K or Ultra HD is the next big thing.
It’s always valuable to heed the advice of a digital pioneer like Anthony Wood, Founder of Roku. “4K or Ultra HD is the most significant technology coming. The only thing customers are really willing to pay more for is higher resolution and it doesn’t cost that much to make. Streaming will be the first way that 4K content is delivered and probably most popular.” –Anthony Wood, Founder, Roku
7. Don’t call it second screen.
Audiences often find their new favorite content on their smart phones, not by surfing with the TV remote. “The line between second and first screen is blurred. First screen is often the second screen.” – Marc Scarpa, founder, SimplyNew
8. TV is not dead.
Babs Rangaiah of consumer products giant Unilever advises to never write that obituary unless you’re absolutely sure. “TV is not dead. TV has survived the digital disruption in a way newspapers, music, and books haven’t.” – Babs Rangaiah, VP of Global Media, Unilever
9. No, not Jerry Springer!
Sean Compton of Tribune Entertainment predicts a growing appetite for a Subscription Video On Demand (SVoD) commissioned daily talk show. “Millions of Americans are dying to binge-watch Jerry Springer every day. Just think about that.” – Sean Compton, Tribune Entertainment
10. Even more niche content, demanding consumers.
This one seems obvious, but Wayne Scholes of Red Touch Media says that who could have predicted the growth of YouTube, Vine, Hulu, and Vimeo in just nine years or less? “TV and content will become much more diversified. We’ll have to produce more varied shows that sometimes have lower viewing numbers. There’ll be more niche markets, partly because the consumer has become a little more demanding but also because technology has facilitated more people having access to more content in the environment where they are at the time. Who would have thought 15 years ago that people would be watching random consumers who have made funny two-minute videos with their mates?” – Wayne Scholes, CEO, Red Touch Media