The global media and entertainment industry has been one of the areas where future of work forces have had the most impact; incumbent after incumbent has fallen (Borders, Blockbuster), shrunk (the print media industry writ small), or rearranged the seating plan (music, movies, cable, networks) as the Internet has hardened and melded into, onto, and over, propriety networks and existing distribution infrastructure.
Not surprisingly “the suits” have found it all a little stressful – to say the least – and analysts’ couches in Bel Air and the Upper East Side have been doing a roaring (50 minute) trade.
But amidst the angst what has been easy to overlook is that despite all of the turbulence and upheaval the “industry” in aggregate has never been bigger and, dare one say for an industry that monetizes sex, violence and dysfunction on an epic scale, healthier.
The good folks at PriceWaterhouseCoopers suggest that by 2016 global spending on all forms of entertainment will top $2 trillion. When you think about the industries that are considered “important” or “strategic” which are a fraction of that size it makes you realize just what a role amusing ourselves now plays for the average homosapien. Given this combination of industry size and the scale of future of work driven change it probably comes as no surprise that we here at the Center for the Future of Work decided we should peak over the studio walls a little bit and look at how the industry is really changing and what we could learn from and do about it.
To that end we partnered with MIT’s Center for Digital Business and worked with the team of Greg Gimpel and George Westerman on the report you see here, Five Pressing Issues Shaping the Future of TV and Video. (We focused on TV and Video simply to tighten the f-stop a little bit).
As you’ll see as you read through the interesting factoids, anecdotes, and ideas there is one key theme that is central to all of the change under consideration; that whatever happens to distribution networks – be they “traditional”, “over the top”, or whatever comes next, content will remain king for the foreseeable future. As Michael Burns, vice chairman of Lionsgate Films said on CNBC recently, the proliferation of devices that we all carry nowadays means more and more opportunity for entertainment as an impulse buy (he noted how on a plane or train ride everyone is watching a movie or TV on their tablets or laptops, which they’re increasingly downloading there and then).