Exponential increases in technology have completely changed entire industries, especially over the past 10 to 15 years. Specifically, with Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO, Hulu, digital channels and the potential of unbundling, technology has changed the landscape of the television industry.
Further, with technological change, the TV industry is likely to continue to evolve and look completely different 10 years from now. Below are three predictions for TV in the next 10 years:
1. More Channels, More Freedom to Choose
Traditionally the cable TV industry has featured a few key channels that customers must purchase as packages. Consumers who wants ESPN, for example, must purchase a package that includes multiple channels, one of which is ESPN.
This landscape has changed, however. With companies such as Netflix, HBO, Hulu, YouTube and Amazon Prime producing and offering premium shows, the need to have traditional cable has declined. What's more, In the future, analysts expect that these premium services are likely to have recommendation engines so powerful that they preclude the need to browse shows, offering libraries made up of millions of options.
This change in the way people consume content has put pressure on traditional television providers to rethink the way they offer channels. Customers are calling for what's known as "unbundling," where it's possible to choose and pay for only the channels they want. Many streaming services already offer this sort of service, like Sling TV, YouTube TV, PlayStation Vue and Fubo. In the future, traditional cable channels are likely to be unbundled, as online service providers such as Netflix continue to rise in popularity, causing a landscape where people mix and match TV channels and premium subscriptions.
2. Traditional Commercials Become Antiquated
The premium service providers mentioned above have already proven that it's possible to create and grow successful enterprises around a business model that includes little or no revenue from commercials. The trend is now changing to one based on a subscription model rather than on ad revenue alone. In 10 years, even traditional cable providers are likely to become subscription services, likely allowing unbundling and a tiered fee structure based on the type and number of channels a consumer chooses.
Further, a hybrid model may be available 10 years from now in which a subscription service is combined with smart advertising. In this scenario, rather than having three-minute commercial spots during a 30-minute television program, TV programming may change to one where a consumer must have a monthly subscription and then view targeted banner ads. This type of advertising already occurs on the internet, and the amount of data television companies collect allows them to do much the same.
3. More Interactivity
Companies such as Facebook, Google and Microsoft have all developed virtual reality. Within the next 10 years, traditional television screens are likely to make way, at least in part, for variations of virtual reality eyewear. Evidence of this is already available in Google's development and subsequent abandoning of Google Glass as well as Samsung's foray into wearable accessories that help turn phones into virtual reality machines. Experts expect this trend to continue to expand to encompass TV capabilities and accessories, much like 3D TVs have done.
What's more, all TVs are likely to become smart TVs within the next 10 years. Expect these internet-connected devices to be ubiquitous in homes across the world, adding to the power and potential of virtual reality and future programming. There is a race among technology giants to be the leader in smart TV development, including companies both inside and outside the industry. Businesses such as Google, Apple, Netflix and Amazon are all developing more powerful smart TVs, which is likely to make this technology much more affordable for consumers.