The Future of Media: Like Fred Wilson Said

by Marianne Richmond on January 6, 2008

Fred Wilson shared some observations on his blog today about his teenage kids and the future of media in light of a Goldman Sachs research report.

Other than the fact that his children read books outside of school and mine don’t, his observations are in line with my own. Yes, a small sample size, but nonetheless, the consistency between the media behavior of his kids and my kids is pretty amazing. Besides books,

.TV on DVD

. Games

. Internet

. IPod not radio in the car; music is online.

. Magazines not newspapers

The almost single minded devotion to gaming is old news at my house, especially with my 15 year old. I have no doubt that if the ship was going down he would not count his PS3 as excess baggage to be thrown overboard but would consider it life sustaining.

What is relatively new and something I find kind of surprising here is the purchasing of TV shows on DVD (Fred’s #1) . If we count time in requested Christmas presents (well, it is that time of year), it seems to me that it was two Christmases ago that my now 17 year old son was interested in Jerry Seinfeld DVDs.

I found his fondness for Seinfeld curious but did not regard it as a media trend. Just something we could enjoy watching together. However, over the next 18 months I did begin to observe a trend….boxed sets of TV shows not only being purchased but being borrowed and loaned out to classmates. Last year, Steve Gillmor pronounced that TV was dead.

Is it? Or just being consumed differently? Darren Herman notes that content consumption has become device agnostic. He writes, “Television is evolving into people’s lifestyles contrary to when people had to create their lifestyle around television.” TV content is not dead.

Fred is writing from an investment perspective and because I have 2 teenage sons, I can’t afford an investment perspective; but from my advertising/media perspective which is what supports their consumption diet, last years media consumption diet meme initiated by Jeremiah seemed to confirm the death of TV, at least amongst the early adopters.

Chris Saad confessed to being a TV junkie but said he didn’t inhale in the traditional manner.

Peter Kim noted that the early adopters were engaging mostly with media without advertising, “an inverse relationship to the amount of advertising money being spent therein. In other words, they’re spending the most time where the least amount of advertising dollars are focused….

Of course this is bad news for advertisers and no doubt this relationship is a future trend.

This year as TV moves to the web and “web video” replaces “plastics” as synonymous for the future, there may be something in those teenage TV shows on DVD purchases. We finally have DVR and it looks like what is being recorded is about 1/3 sports, 1/3 movies and 1/3 TV. But when they want it bad and it bigger chunks, they have boxed sets for The Office, Seinfeld, Arrested Development, SNL and I am not sure what else.

Yes, they know its available online, but they prefer the comfort of the sofa, that big screen and maybe even a respite from online.

Maybe, a year later, we should update the media consumption diet meme .

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

steven mandzik January 6, 2008 at 11:34 pm

Great post. I have to say, as an early adopter, I agree. The digital divide is slowly closing and its next targets are tv, movies, and newspapers.

On the tv/movie side, I am having a blast. Netflix offers instant viewing and hulu’s content is growing so fast. Did you see their full length embeddable movies?

All I need now is a dedicated media pc, so i can watch the internet on my tv…

Jeremiah Owyang January 7, 2008 at 7:36 am

At CES this year, (i’m hearing on the news) folks are talking about how the internet can stream all the shows we want, no more reliance on TV.

J. Jeffryes January 7, 2008 at 4:00 pm

I watched the first season of Battlestar Galactica on DVD. The second season I bought through iTunes. Then I tried watching the third on TV.

The experience of watching a show I loved on TV was so terrible compared to watching it on DVD or iTunes that I was almost willing to wait another year to watch it properly. Once Apple (or whoever) works things out so we can download shows in HD directly to our computers, the TVs in my house will not longer be connected to cable, they’ll be plugged into computers and we’ll never bother watching anything any other way.

Advertising is over. It was over 4 years ago. There’s just so much money floating around in marketing budgets that the corpse is still flopping around with a semblance of life. Marketing will always exist, but successful companies are moving their money into more effective ways to directly engage with consumers, something television cannot do.

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