Are you ready for the continued blurring of media? Do you have any idea what I'm talking about?
Have you seen the onrush of interest in Google's Chromecast dongle? Have you actually tried to buy one and, as have I, found them out of stock everywhere you try? Have you considered what effect that little device--along with AppleTV, Roku, and the like--will have on how you and everyone else on the planet view "television?"
The truth is television is radio is Internet is smartphone is tablet is movies is newspapers, etc. Soon there will be NO "television," "radio," "web," or, for sure, "newspapers." There will be no "video" or "audio" or "print," either, for that matter. The lines between one medium and another have blurred and the continuation of that blurring is only going to speed up exponentially as we go.
I can think of no other area in society in which technological change is having a greater effect than what we are now seeing with media...how people consume audio, video, and the written word. Even now, as we stubbornly continue to call media by their traditional names, how we are actually using them has already changed a staggering amount.
What we are actually doing now is consuming "content." And that "content" is more and more being consumed by you and everyone else the way you want to consume it. Sure, there will be a football game, broadcast on a TV network that primarily feeds over-the-air TV stations. But that game will also be available on the Internet and can be viewed on a computer monitor, a tablet, or a smartphone. But there will also be different views of that game that you can see (think NASCAR racing's feeds now that actually put you inside the race car with the driver), a separate feed that offers commentary and analysis from an expert, and maybe even a delayed feed of the coaching staffs' communications with each other from the sidelines and press box. Would you pay an extra $100 a season for something like that or put up with the occasional commercial?
Think, too, about all the sideshows we saw in the last few weeks around the premiere of the final season of AMC's series Breaking Bad. You had to try hard to avoid podcasts, Q&As, discussion groups and other events with fans, critics, actors and creators of the show. The time is here already in which a big media event without all the ancillary content is rare. Or in which a sporting event or major news story does not also come with a true multimedia (or "blur-r-r-red" media) blitz.
Here's a final example. Researcher Mark Ramsey recently hosted a great forum that brought together key players discussing the continual blurring of media and how, in the case of his company, such radical change affects broadcast radio. Here is one session that talks about Google+ and Google's new service, Hangout, and how media outlets can use them to give consumers what they want.
And what they want is far more than a continual stream of music with a big-voiced announcer occasionally telling us that we have just heard "Carry On My Wayward Son" by Kansas one more time.