Project Timeline 2005–2010

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Thus my family of four sitting at our various screens (we already have more than one screen each) will engage more fluidly and fully with the new media, throughout the day, on the move as well as sitting still, leaning forward and leaning back. The tyranny of the geeks will be over…. no more ugly interfaces, no clunky tools, no hang-ups and failures as part of the normal daily lot of the media user. We will happily incur micro-payments and accept targeted interruptions of the program stream by canny advertisers. We will engage in a two-way and open-ended interaction with trusted (or recommended) providers. We will do business with them (and not just buying downloads, all kinds of business). Many, perhaps most of these providers will be companies that do not exist today.

By this time, the debate about television versus the internet will be over; actually it will be superseded, irrelevant. Perhaps there will be a new term for the mashup they will have become. We won’t worry about questions like this in my family.

Because a way will have been found to tap our willingness to pay (perhaps led by the example of mobile services), our spending on content will have doubled, maybe more. (Coupled with a doubling (or more) of advertising spending, the content business will be on a roll.  But its underlying dynamics won’t change; it will still be a winner- take-all business, just carried out in ever smaller niches.)

To our content providers we will not be some statistical abstraction, sitting at the end of the value chain. They will know us well, and talk to us, directly. We will talk back to them.