Futurist conversations: Thoughts on the future of television


Continuing our series of conversations between fellow futurist Gerd Leonhard and myself, here is our session on the future of television.

Here are a few of the ideas we share in the session:

* Video will be everywhere: video walls, ceilings, floors, tables and more, giving space for the vast amount of video we are creating.
* Participatory TV is an expression of the broad shift from hub and spoke media to co-created media.
* Examples include CBS’s What’s Trending, Al-Jazeera’s The Stream, and others however it is fairly early.
* We may have to get rid of the world ‘television’, which implies channels, boxes, cables, and more.
* There are another 50 video streaming sites other than YouTube as well as TED.com, Fora.TV, BigThink and many more.
* Jeff Jarvis is talking about book that you watch TV that you read.
* Every TV in the world will be connected to the internet.
* IPTV has been inevitable from the start – broadcast towers are there but will be complemented by IP delivery, resulting in essentially an infinite channel world.
* The future of television looks great because everything is a screen, which is a huge opportunity.
* Education is delivered by online video, games and even poker are available on digital TV.
* It seems most TV channels are as defensive against these shifts as many newspapers have been, doing themselves a disservice.
* Who better to take the opportunity of pervasive video than the existing TV participants?
* Globally $650 billion is spent on advertising, among a total of $1 trillion on marketing and promotion. Advertisers are not going to keep on putting money into a dumb box that doesn’t know what its audience is or what it is doing.
* Targeted advertising is becoming possible, allowing brands to reach who are interesting, but it does require a different infrastructure and different attitude.
* Ten years from now we’ll be happy to reach 1% of a national audience, a fraction of what mass media reach used to be.