Everything is going to come down to one word, and that’s vaccine. Once there are more options than “stay home,” especially in New York, people are going to go out to dinner, to Broadway shows, to movies, if they can, and hang out in bars. So the relative amount of time people will spend watching TV will go down.
Until the mid-19th century, performance was live performance. We didn’t have audio recording or film until the late 19th century and they really weren’t viable as public consumption on a large scale until the early 20th century. And to be able to be around other people and be able to share culture with large groups and to get that rush, that’s what people are really missing right now. If this persists for a lot longer, it’s the loss of social entertainment that is going to cause us to crack more than anything else.
Clinical Associate Professor at NYU who specializes in media culture
I can imagine a world where tools and platforms enable creators to easily make content in a variety of formats, from games to stories that range from completely immersive to augmenting and interacting with reality. These immersive experiences would connect artists, writers, actors and sports figures with consumers and fans in ways that are more intimate and personal, enabled by layers of artificial intelligence. The Travis Scott “mini-concert” in Fortnite that attracted 48 million views in 48 hours is just one example of the innovation and cross platform (gaming-to-music) collaboration that is happening.
Demand for spatial audio would grow in all experiences as people look for ways to better control their environment, de-stress, escape reality or expand their limited physical space. The interfaces would be easy to use and non-obtrusive, based on human-centered design and allow for privacy to be set by the user. Synthetic beings, like Lil Miquela, will become more ubiquitous.
The pool of creators will spawn from a variety of genders, races and cultures, adding diversity and perspective to the media experiences. Media can be experienced anywhere, anytime, by anyone. This will happen through channels we know now: film, TV, games, Twitch, YouTube and also those that are being imagined today as developers are in lockdown, imagining and building future apps and platforms to connect. Or creating live motion-capture experiences like John Legend singing in Wave. Sports will follow close behind, using AR/VR to enhance the game by providing details and information in real-time that isn’t available in real life.
Managing Partner, WXR Fund, investing in early stage companies with female leadership that are transforming business and human interaction using spatial computing (VR/AR) and AI.
In the TV and video space, we’re going to see large media companies leaning into their libraries of intellectual property. We’re seeing media companies and entertainment companies looking to acquire pre-existing content that they can release fresh on their own air, whether that means TV or streaming. But the libraries of certain streaming providers or TV networks or other video sources are finite. Audiences, as a result, might turn from scripted and long-form video content to user-generated content on Instagram, etc.
Senior Vice President, Ipsos Content Strategy Insights
Co-viewing will not continue as-is, once lockdowns ease to a point where people can return to the media behaviors they had before. Lockdown TV forced household members back into the living room, together. Occasion-based co-viewing may be a lockdown behavior that lingers long after COVID-19 is brought under control. Live programming, aside from news that has mostly been negative, was largely non-existent during lockdowns, which has given way to the rise of esports, which has allowed younger people interested in watching professional gamers, consume both live and interactive content.
Future video content decisions will be based on media consumption behaviors and how effective content creators and platforms are at monetizing those behaviors. That includes whether audiences are tuning in, how long are they are tuning in and whether we see engagement with the brand advertisers that media companies require to continue to produce and distribute content.
Executive Vice President, Head of Media Development and Audience Measurement, North America, Ipsos
At a certain point, programmers are going to run out of original content and will need to get creative in order to fill airtime. For example, NBC has a huge unplanned programming block to fill because they were supposed to have the Olympics this summer. They could potentially air some of the shows they originally planned to exclusively release on Peacock, or they could reach into their back catalogue or Universal’s movie library to program in a new way.
It would be great to see programmers look at this moment in time and see it as an opportunity to showcase diverse voices. They could bring back shows like “A Different World,” “227,” and “Living Single” and introduce them to a new generation of people that didn’t grow up with them or didn’t experience them the first time on linear and streaming. So many people are creating things on YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram. There’s an opportunity to uncover new talent that way—we wouldn’t have Issa Rae and “Insecure” without YouTube and “Awkward Black Girl.” I’m hopeful that this is a time and an opportunity for Hollywood to take a beat and cast a wider net, rather than working with the same couple of creators every single time.
Senior Vice President, Head of Content + Platform Strategy, Ipsos Media Development