Media Shifts

In the last 30 years there have been some tremendous changes in how we combine our lives with media. For those working in the entertainment industry and marketing business, these shifts are so extremely important, yet so completely unknown. It drives me crazy, it really does, that when I talk to people about things like Augmented Reality and how that can be used in marketing or entertainment, 99 out of 100 don’t have a clue what I am talking about. Like I just arrived from a galaxy far, far away. Yet the technology is there. People are ready for it. And where’s the business? I am trying so hard to dive in. But really zero (yes zero!!) financers I found till now are willing to dive in with me….. So people are driving on highways now with sportscars, while advertisers and entertainment guru’s are trying to keep up on their tricycles waving their promotions.

These media shifts are only in part shifts in media. Maybe half of it is caused by a shift in our way of living, our state of mind. Remember my blog about time awareness? These things happened because we were ready for it to happen. That also means that the shift that is occuring now happens because it is time for it to take place. But here’s the thing: a large group of people is not yet ready for this current shift. This is why it is so important to understand these 5 shifts that I will now try to explain. After that chances are you will have a slightly different look at marketing and promotions than before. I hope that during this blog I am preparing you in your mind for this last shift so that by the time you are done reading you are all set for the new way of marketing.

The 5 mediashifts


The viewer is able to watch at any moment he/she wishes. Like watching a video movie. Or record Music from your radio on a cassetterecorder and listen back at any moment. The videorecorder was the main cause for this shift to take place. Being able to record your series and movies and watch them at your own convient time. Strangely enough digital television is currently in this shift. You don’t need a recorder but you can use your decoder to watch back episodes of your favorite soapseries, or watch a movie from the on-demand section. Digital television is in the first shift of multimedia, and only a few providers have started with the next step.


Not only being able to watch or listen at any moment but also at any place you want. The good old walkman fits very well in this shift. Joggers could listen to whatever they wanted during their running. I remember how happy I was when I got a walkman at my birthday. I could bike to school and listen to my favoritie music at the same time! Thanks to WIFI we can now internet in our garden and thanks to our smartphones we can internet in the train to our work.



To be able to watch everything anywhere on any device you need to have the mediafile in a certain format. The videotape slowly was replaced for the dvd but you still can’t watch a dvd on your smartphone. So files became digitalised, and could be used on any computer, sometimes with a little help of a converter program. Nowadays the Ipod, Ipad, smartphones and tablets are causing a placeshift for media, but only because of the formatshift that took place.


Now that people were able to watch and listen everywhere, anytime and on any device they became in need of controlling the media itself. That is when for instance Youtube came populair: the user generated content. The weblogs and forums can also be placed in this shift. The users create their own content, and theirs is basically for everyone to use.



Now that people can controll everything on any time at any place at any apparatus, the need starts to grow to be able to use all this to approve our daily life. We want all this being embedded in our surroundings and attached to our networks. We want our smartphones to have a context awareness: locating where we are and give us the media that can help us at that time at that place with whatever we want.

Please have a look at this TEDTalk of Pranav Mistry. Augmented Reality in today’s life.

And now remember again where we are with our advertising…..

And now these examples. All already here. Some already getting popular. But this is the new way of living….

In the newspaper you see a photo of a winning goal. You hover your smartphone over the photo and an app shows you a video of this winning goal.

You buy a bag of chips and your phone can show you a trailer of an upcoming blockbuster or a videoclip of a popgroup attached to the brand.

Schoolbooks can become interactive with 3D animations via webcams, internet and tablets.

Playboy magazine can have a section of codes that you can transform into 3D ladies when held in front of your webcam.

You can scan the code on the meat that you want to buy and you get a nice recipe for it with vetetables and other supplies in the store.

Your smartphone checks where you are and suggest some good restaurants or guides you to a free parking space.

When you see a broken traffic light you use a special app that locates the place of this light and sends the information directly to the local authorities.

I am already working on a blog specifically about augmented reality and I hope to have that online within a week. If you have any thought about my way of thinking: please send me an email. I love all the input I can get.