In the worst case, virtual and augmented reality headsets continue to be expensive, so use is limited to those that can afford it–especially if we fall into an extended recession/depression. For those who can afford it, it is bulky, uncomfortable, and challenging to use. It is possible that connectivity and performance never rise to the levels of consistent, full experiences because of bandwidth limitations and the inability to deploy 5G networks to support the massive content surge. Bullying and trolling could become as rampant and negative in virtual worlds as Twitter and YouTube comments are today, but even more impacting to the human psyche since worlds offer a level of immersion unlike a 3D text screen. Deep fakes could be a constant question and authenticity would be doubted at every level. We are already seeing the expansion of distrust in the media through the time of the pandemic. This could exacerbate in the future without a mechanism to verify truth and accuracy in information.
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 this situation, there’s a collapse on a number of levels. There’s not money going in through consumption to create new content. And without the creation of new content, there’s whole branches of the entertainment sector that are falling apart, like movie theaters. They can’t pay their rent. They can’t pay their employees because people just aren’t going there, and it’s emphasized for 18 to 24 months. As these industries collapse, the employment structures collapse. What happens to infrastructure?
Through this pandemic, we’ve become so digitally reliant. If that whole area vacates, that’s going to be seriously bad news for the United States. And when seriously bad news things happen to the United States economy, there is a trickle-down effect around the world. The collapse in the entertainment sector ends up leading a collapse in the digital infrastructure sector. And that digital infrastructure section is so much of a part of the fabric of our life, that it creates a lot more instability. If you think of Black Lives Matter happening across Twitter and Instagram, how would that not have happened if those spaces were unstable and our systems were not available?
Clinical Associate Professor at NYU who specializes in media culture
The trends of late in the industry to a large extent has been consolidation from an M&A perspective. In its wake, though, comes this influx of creator-oriented content, short-form content, and smaller productions. Underneath that consolidation halo effect will sprout up different categories altogether that will largely be influenced by creators and talent and personalities, and even fan-generated content. Examples of that are live streams on Twitch, esports, the notion of using social video and using live social video. There’s a deejay named D-Nice who started a series on Instagram Live that he calls Club Quarantine. It’s a live stream, ongoing feed where he just plays music, but hundreds of thousands of people are on live at any given time. He’s been a relatively famous deejay for a pretty long time but just became mainstream because of this.
Senior Vice President, Ipsos Content Strategy Insights
If anything, what people are missing out on is their local community—the restaurants, shops and routines that made up our lives before COVID-19. They might be more engaged with the world at large online, and in some respects, maybe it’ll open people up to new ideas and things that they hadn’t been exposed to before. In an ideal world, you’re exposed to new ideas and new beliefs and new parts of culture. In reality, because of how personalized social media and your newsfeed are, that might still not happen.
Senior Vice President, Head of Content + Platform Strategy, Ipsos Media Development
A lot of people realize that when you are forcefully cut off from something that you are used to, you quickly learn that you are able to successfully live without it. We may find that some sources of entertainment that were previously very important might not hold the same position of value that it did before COVID-19. I suspect that one such casualty may be live sports. I am not predicting the wholesale demise of live sports, but the product and experience is certainly going to be inferior for the fans that enjoy watching the games, the athletes that get paid to perform and the brands looking to advertise. Sports leagues are going to need to use this as an opportunity to innovate their product to create new experiences for fans that can also deliver outcomes for the brand advertisers that seed the monetization media companies need to survive and that sports league owners require to maintain their talent payrolls.
Executive Vice President, Head of Media Development and Audience Measurement, North America, Ipsos
Want more visions of the future of media?