The old wisdom about industry changing innovations is that it always takes longer than was thought and that the change is bigger than expected. Having Netflix enter Europe country by country this fall is one chapter in such industry revolution.
The wisdom however is true only to the people within the industry. In this case, for broadcasters, challengers, content creators, intermediaries – even advertisers. For the consumers the change seems quite different. The pace of new ways of consumption is on average excellent. When the old ways seem antiquated, the new ones come in as welcome novelties. Of course there are those of us who would have taken Netflix over gladly years ago, but there are also those for whom it makes no difference whatsoever. Thus, the changes happen when people are ready for adopting them – when there is a demand or a need that innovations can attach to.
The magnitude of the change is also quite natural for the consumer. If I can already subscribe with one fee to all the music in the world, it is natural to want to have the same with films as well. And going from there, the whole industry might change forever, but all the new implications to me as a consumer are a natural progression. I will start consuming differently because it is possible. I will come up with new needs, because I become aware of the possibilities. I might even demand a change or question the very same things services I used to spend 2,54 hours per happily – just a few years ago.
Change will ignite change. For every technology that has undergone this magnitude of change, the industry structure has been torn down and rebuilt again. Some players remain, some will have new roles in the ecosystem and some will become unnecessary and disappear completely. Film, television, online video are from consumers’ perspective already one and the same. And they will all go through a change, just like the good folks of music biz did. The question for us operating with moving images really is: “am I serving my audience or am I serving my old patterns of operating? Will I gain, remain or will I become antiquated?”