Digital Media of the Future


Below is a follow up to an interview I gave to the folks at The Dealmaker.

Digital Media of the Future

It’s 2010 in the United States. Tell us what the digital media landscape looks like.

Let me describe it by giving an example of how I envision I will be consuming digital media in 4 years: I live in my fully networked house where I have a server that acts as a central nervous system and stores or accesses all of my digital media and controls everything in my house according to my personal preferences. My server stores or caches all of the digital media I have ever consumed and anticipates what I would like to consume so that upon request I can view it at my leisure – not at the leisure of my wireless data connection. Content I consume can loosely be categorized into proprietary (created by me), sponsored (created by corporations) and user generated (created by individuals). Obviously all of my proprietary content is secure and is largely hosted locally. Access to my digital locker is conducted verbally – not through a cumbersome text method – and my server automatically makes recommendations based on my profile and historical habits. Today my server recommends Spider-Man 5 because it knows I have watched the previous four and accessed a few blogs that critiqued the prior movies. As I move from room to room, the movie is automatically displayed in each room’s flat panel until I go outdoors. At that point its streamed to my handheld pocket computer. I decide to switch to pay mode to eliminate all the ads that are embedded in the movie.

Although all content is free and ad supported in 2010, I detest the branded shoes Peter Parker wears because I just learned through my custom news feed that they have a sweat shop in China.

I think you get the idea. I think all digital media companies are ultimately driven to provide content or applications Any Time, Any Where, Any Device. Obviously in 2010 we’ll be a lot closer to this reality than where we are today.

Where do you see growth happening in the next 6 months? 12 months? 18 months?

I think growth over the next 6 months will likely come from many of the same areas your readers have already been tracking: video/rich media, user-generated sites, and mobile applications. However, as we head into the next 2 years, I think we’ll really see a rapid acceleration of applications optimized for an always connected world. We may finally see the promise of convergence between the TV and PC fulfilled although I’m betting it may actually occur first with mobile devices.

Finally, we should not underestimate the impact China, India and Russia will have on all things digital media related. The Internet has no borders so I wouldn’t be surprised if we start to see more US companies benefiting from growth over there. The best is yet to come so stay tuned.

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