By Rodric David
9 June 2016
A tipping point was reached in 2015 when consumers spent more time engaged on mobile devices (198 minutes per day) than they spent watching programming on television (168 minutes per day). I find it extraordinary that this fact remains largely under reported in the mainstream media, as it is the single most important proof point for the future of entertainment consumption. More astonishing is the fact that it took a mere eight years for this tipping point to be achieved from the time that Steve Jobs introduced the first smart phone to the world in 2007. This revolution represents the fastest broad based consumer adoption of new technology in history.
In my earlier article, ‘Distribution 103: The Tipping Point’, I theorized that the use of mobile devices by consumers and access to high speed broadband networks is accelerating the democratization of content distribution and that the battle for consumer eyeballs is just beginning.
I predict that within 10 years we will see the complete overhaul of the global content distribution industry, the destruction of many traditional content distribution companies, and the emergence of new behemoths that are unburdened by legacy infrastructure investments and complex syndication and geographic distribution contracts. The fracturing of the video content distribution business has seen the editorial oversight, programming, scheduling, and production decisions, made by a select few since the 1940s, entirely dismantled.
The result is that consumers, producers and distributors of content are no longer dictated to by the traditional cycle of television programming and geographic boundaries. Today consumers watch what they want, when they want, where they want. This has led to an explosion of video content in a distribution universe where the consumer now dictates choices rather than the programmer.
The explosion of content availability is leading to market confusion amongst consumers trying to sort through the massive volume of content available. Significant bets are being made by technology and media companies in an attempt to provide a solution for consumers and drive audiences their way. The battleground is being set for the coming “Eyeball War”.
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