I was thinking over the weekend about what a very different place the world is going to be from a technical and media perspective in just a few years. Of course, if you take a few minutes to think back and recall how the world was in 2002, just a decade ago, you’d be missing YouTube, iPhones, Facebook, Twitter, and hybrid cars. Every one of those things is a daily part of my life and probably yours as well.
What got me thinking about this was this:
New research from Leichtman Research Group finds that 38% of all U.S. households have at least one television set connected to the internet via a video game system, a Blu-ray player, an Apple TV, a Roku set-top box and/or the TV set itself. This number is up from 30% last year, and 24% from two years ago. Game consoles are the key devices within this category, as 28% of all households have a video game system connected to the web.
I spend some time each week watching Hulu+, Netflix, YouTube, and other services through my Xbox. That time spent is not incremental to normal TV viewing – it’s content I find more interesting than what’s available. That behavior ties in with the research:
- 13% of Netflix subscribers would consider reducing spending on their multichannel video service because of Netflix, down from 21% last year.
- 16% of all U.S. adults watch full-length TV shows online at least weekly, up from 12% last year.
- 19% of mobile phone owners watch video on their phones on a weekly basis; while 9% of all U.S. adults watch video on an iPad/tablet.
So I sort of had this flash forward. If traditional cable boxes become anachronisms, what else goes with them? I think desktop computers will be history soon, as tablets and other mobile devices access cloud-based services and data. Even though I have many computers in my home, I spend nearly all my time on a laptop and could very easily transition to a tablet with a keyboard. Skype and Google Voice could replace my landline and just may shortly. I’m sure you can add a few legacy technologies/services that need either to pivot or die.
In only 10 years, a lot of our behavior has been changed by a few services and technologies. In another 10, it will all be different again. Are you ready? Is your business?