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Viewing the future of television

TelevisionMy father always referred to TV as the “boob tube” AKA, that mind sucking box which terrifies any parent when they observe the trance like state it places their kids in. To give you an idea of how dependent many of us have become, a recent study by Razorfish had trouble finding people who were willing to give up TV for more than a couple of days for $350 bucks!

One very interesting thing which came out of the study (at least for me) is that kids today want TV to be personalized – to react to you. They’d like to see TV which responds to your mood and offers the appropriate programming based on that. As far as priorities go, the younger generation wants portability (we keep hearing that about all channels don’t we?). They want personalized TV which travels the globe with them. No more bad TV in foreign hotel rooms – your own TV shows should travel from home to plane to that overseas hotel with you.

What about the future of TV? Is it going to evolve or just wink out like the last dot of light on a CRT? Doubtful since, historically we’ve yet to see a mass media just blink out of existence in that way.

TV is evolving as are other channels and it’s going to become more social because it has to. It’s worth taking a look at some predictions regarding how that evolution will progress. These changes will fundamentally alter how marketers will get their message to people. It will likely offer a whole new number of opportunities to interact with consumers.

The future of television according to Razorfish

Here’s how the Razorfish whitepaper sees the future of television in the next decade:

Persona-based
Your TV will have a profile of your likes and dislikes and will suggest programming it thinks match your interests.

Channels as brands, not numbers
Programming will be categorized based on such things as moods and trends. For example real time ratings will show you what’s hot with other viewers and friends will be able to make suggestions.

People become channels
Your choices and preferences will potentially influence others and that influence may also carry rewards (perhaps even monetary) depending on how much influence you have.

Television—your television—will be portable
TV will travel with you because of cloud computing technology. Wherever you go, your personal channel will come along for the ride.

TV will be transactional
A book mentioned on a talk show or a dress which wowed you during the Oscars will be available for instant purchase with a simple click or wave of your hand.

Content is viral/Maps trends
You’ll have the ability to share programming and even mashup content from TV, creating your own content which might go viral.

Content is deconstructed
Networks will no longer call the tune. Content will be served on demand and that content will be categorized and then shared with friends and family. The integration of such channels as the web and TV will allow viewers to create programming channels of their own to share in cooperation with others.

Content is truly interactive: commentary, gaming
Interactive gaming will be integrated with TV and it will allow viewers to participate using augmented reality even in such things as live sporting events – swing along with your favourite slugger during a baseball game for example. The integration of TV with the web will also allow people to interact in real time about anything they see.

My two cents
I’ve long preached that convergence in our homes will mean that TV and the web will be integrated. We’ll have a “central vacuum” type of installation where the content will be distributed anywhere in and around the house via wireless technology. From music to TV to gaming, it’s all going to be served up via one system and the lines between all channels will be blurred or non-existent.

The biggest lesson marketers can take from this is that interactivity is now one of the most important factors for success. Developing a strategy which gives the power to customers to interact with you where and when they wish to is absolutely vital.

Originally posted on Tutorials.one’s Social Marketing Forum and moved as part of an integration.

Top image purchased under license from Shutterstock

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