That’s us, that man standing there, onlooking Hollywood.
The quote that best describes this comes from a recent article by Marco Arment:
The MPAA studios hate us. They hate us with region locks and unskippable screens and encryption and criminalization of fair use. They see us as stupid eyeballs with wallets, and they are entitled to a constant stream of our money. They despise us, and they certainly don’t respect us.
Yet when we watch their movies, we support them.
Those of us who use Netflix or Apple TV forget how truly annoying physical disk movies are to try and get to work on anything but sanctioned players – and even then filled with unskippable threats.
But I wonder what is to come of the entire thing. Bigger than Hollywood, bigger than the games industry, bigger than the MPAA and everyone, what will our entertainment be in the next ten years? 20? 100?
It’s sort of an unusual situation we find ourselves in. The Roman gladiator games lasted roughly 135 years and only really ended when the particularly vile leaders had died and the newer generations looked at the entire sport with confusion and unease, yet we see entertainment mediums such as radio come and go entirely because new technology (television) claimed it’s overtaking. But here we are in an age where movies on the whole are not very good and the industry blames piracy instead of truly looking at why people aren’t buying the films anymore. I mentioned previously somewhere that the movie going experience is jaded. People aren’t interested in paying $14 to sit in a room with a 100 other strangers who talk and text and spill sticky things on the floor. Since bigger home screens mean the theater screens aren’t really as interesting anymore, the cons are outweighing the pros. It’s a matter of poor experience.
Y Combinator, the famous startup investor has issued this statement denouncing the whole thing and I have to agree; what exactly are we going to do with all of this?
Time to design.
Design, at it’s more pure roots is simply problem solving. The hardest part, often, is finding the problem to solve. Are we really solving piracy? Are we solving entertainment? Are we solving the problem that many people have, which is a lack of choice in the matter?
It’s interesting to read message boards and see everyone’s take. The consensus here seems like people want a new distribution model like iTunes did for music or Steam did for games but I have to wonder if that even solves the overarching problem which is, in my mind, the lack of interesting things to watch. Sure, we have a few great shows targeting various demographics, but on the whole it’s a lot of filler. Worse yet, this:
No wonder people aren’t watching things like they used to. It’s a reboot of an old franchise from the 70′s which, admittedly, did pretty well, that features scenes like this which are basically just commercials featuring the characters in the show. Then, there are actual commercials between the show segments. Where did the actual entertainment go?
I propose a threshold is being reached: There is a certain level of product placement that you can put alongside entertainment because the entertainment factor is still high enough to make it bearable, but at some point it isn’t anymore and people will stop watching the “show”.
So I ask again, what will our entertainment be in the next ten years. 20? 100?
Hopefully, not this.
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