How soon is now?

Culture in a 24 / 7 world

Millward Brown / Dynamic Logic Digital Predictions For 2012 #4 Online Video Invades the Living Room

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Here’s more from the Millward Brown and Dynamic Logic (Disclosure: Both agencies are part of WPP, as is my employer, Y&R12 for 2012: Top 12 Digital Predictions for 2012 report with #4 on their list, Online Video Invades the Living Room.

The report focuses on the “reverse-migrate” trend that will see video normally viewed online, shifting towards the more traditional viewing location: the living room (with living room being a stand-in for traditional television). There are many technologies and platforms in the mix here, as noted in the report, Slingbox, Roku, Boxee, Apple TV and Google TV are all trying to figure this out. Amazon is also in the mix based on their sheer size and obvious ambition.

Will Google Rule The Online Video / TV industry?

If I were placing a bet, it would be on Google. They have an established content platform with YouTube, and coupled with the strength of their search engine, Google is sure to play a role in whatever develops over the next year. I would also not be surprised if a previously unknown company found a niche and became a real player here, like TiVo did more than a decade ago.

These sort of dramatic changes usually create problems for the establishment, and the mainstreaming of online video will probably be another body blow to the broadcast networks. Whatever content I choose, whenever I want to watch it, from my 50″ big screen TV? Where exactly does that leave CBS, ABC, FOX and NBC? I think these folks are already dead, they just haven’t stopped breathing. Purely from a profitability standpoint, I can’t see NBC – the broadcast network – existing in five years time.

When you look at all the properties that Comcast, via its ownership of NBCUniversal has: CNBC, MSNBC, the upcoming NBC Sports Channel, G4, USA, Syfy, Bravo… You realize that NBC has little left beyond a morning show, sports (which would move to the new sports channel) and the occasional primetime programming hit.  Why keep funding that?

To people like like my 12 and 8-year old sons, there is no longer and difference between broadcast & cable, between watching programming on a phone, a tablet, a desktop monitor or a big screen TV. In fact, they probably watch video content on three to five different type of devices every day. How does the notion of a network “brand” fit into this new universe?  The notion of CBS being the “TIffany Network” seems not just quaint, but antiquated.

Like much else, I think we’ll see personalization taken to the next level in video programming. Like you music playlist, soon your TV playlist will be a reflection of your self that you’ll be able to share with others (more on this idea in a future post).

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