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2015 Online Video Executive Predictions - An Introduction

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Time Lords Look Forward

 

Who’s your favourite doctor? (See what I did there?) Mine is Tom Baker. As the fourth Doctor, I thought he was just cheeky enough. Doctor Who quotes may not be the most memorable, but they do tend to be inspirational, if a little obvious. I suppose for our industry, the most relevant quote would be eighth Doctor, Paul McGann’s, observation: “In the fight for survival, there are no rules.” Serious Doctor Who fans have a special place in their heart for 10th Doctor, David Tennant, with his wild eyes and demeanour. Plus, he got some pretty good lines, too: “Tracked you down with this. This is my timey-wimey detector. It goes ding when there’s stuff. Also, it can boil an egg at 30 paces, whether you want it to or not, actually, so I’ve learned to stay away from hens. It’s not pretty when they blow.”

Every year, we ask our industry’s “Time Lords” who’ve travelled the universe of online video, to give us their insights into what’s coming next. And every year, I look back on my introductions to this section to see how I fared with my own forecasting. One in particular is still unfulfilled: my 2008 speculation on when I’d finally get my hands on a two-way video watch similar to Dick Tracy’s. Apple rather let me down when it announced the Apple Watch, sans two-way video, but maybe it is saving that for the next one that it is surely already working on. It’s not too hard get a glimpse into the future by simply looking at the past. And as I do this exercise yet again, I feel like a traveller myself, endlessly moving toward the vanishing point. What I see for 2015 though is no illusion—it’s going to be all about subscription services. Compression is no longer the point of flux in our industry, and the next big leaps forward will happen around business models. Netflix seems to have gotten it right, and HBO and CBS announcing OTT-only offerings in the U.S. will surely open the floodgates to more of the same.

As the seventh Doctor said, “Time will tell. It always does.” But you’d be smart to heed the predictions of our own industry’s “Time Lords” in the related artiles below, that follow...

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