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Friday, October 7, 2011

The future of media

What is the future of media?
There is some great debate on this.
The idea of not having cable in every home was a very foreign concept just ten years ago. But the fact is, these days, that is the reality that is staring down the face of the cable companies. Just last week, we canceled the cable in our home. Since the early 70s, I can't remember not having cable. It was like having a phone or stove in your house. It was a must.
For the last couple of years, we barely watch tv anymore. In fact, in the last year I have barely even turned the tv on. I don't like reality shows, and most of the rest on network tv is poor at best. I don't like remakes, and there seems to be a lot of that these days. The two poorest examples of that are Hawaii Five O and Charlies Angels. There are many others however. The few I do like, I can view within a day, or week, or month on the website of the television station that usually shows it. I have no incentive anymore to pay the cable company 40 dollars for that privilege.
For the most part, I get most of my entertainment through the computer. I watch and listen to music via You Tube. I get much of my news through the feeds of my fb friends or news sites on the internet. Every radio and tv station I can think of has a website and posts news items as they happen on those.
We still go to films in theaters, but it has become much more infrequent. Before it was once a week, or once every couple of weeks. These days we are lucky if we can find interesting one to watch every six weeks. We do watch a few, but mostly we rent them, or watch old movies on the net.
The best entertainment seems to be on the specialty cable channels, the ones you have to pay extra for. HBO, AMC, FX and the USA networks seem to come up with the most original shows that you want to see. But, mostly, if I want to see those shows, I can find them on the net, or rent the whole season and watch it on a weekend.
Marathon viewing seems to be a trend that is growing with most of the 20 something to 50 something crowd who don't always have the time to watch week in and week out.
My thoughts are that a great opportunity lies in wait for the future. Big theaters have the venue and the technology to make these shows even more palatable to the viewing public. Cable tv has the content, but is losing viewership.
We know that the public hungers to go to the movie theaters. They love the experience of getting out of the house and having a night out. We know they will go see tv based themes, like remakes of old tv shows like Charlies Angels, Mission Impossible, The Dukes of Hazard and The Flintstones, to name just a few of many.
We now see the preference to the high concept shows that are now mostly on cable, like The Sopranos, Mad Men and Breaking Bad, and we see a willingness to watch big blocks in one sitting.
I think the future is to make these types of shows for the theater viewer, as original programming. Possibly as 4 or 5 hour blocks with intermissions, and 3 or 4 a year.
Based on the production of these, it can probably be done cheaper and the cost can be kept reasonable.
That is what I see for the future, probably 4 or 5 years down the line.

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