Television is losing viewers, and iPads and their cousins are ready to replace it.
Across the television landscape, network and cable, public television and pay cable, English-language and Spanish, viewing for all sorts of prime-time programming is down this spring — chiefly among the most important audience for the business, younger adults….
The losses could not have come at a worse time for the networks, which are about to enter the television upfronts, the traditional season when advertising dollars are committed for the fall season.
The response of Wikipedia’s founder? “I told you so.”
Jimmy Wales has a message for Hollywood: You’re doomed, it won’t be piracy that kills you, and nobody will care.
The Wikipedia founder, delivering a keynote address at the Internet Society’s INET convention in Geneva, predicted that Hollywood will likely share the same fate as Encyclopedia Britannica, which shut down its print operation this year after selling just 3,000 copies last year.
“Hollywood will be destroyed and no one will notice,” Wales said. But it won’t be Wikipedia (or Encarta) that kills the moviemaking industry: “Collaborative storytelling and filmmaking will do to Hollywood what Wikipedia did to Encyclopedia Britannica,” he said….just as Wikipedia has show that collaboration on the web is possible (despite the messiness, flame wars and turf battles found on Wikipedia Talk pages), the new generation will find ways to collaborate online to create movies to entertain themselves and their friends.
One of the obstacles is television’s reluctance to give up its “all-or-nothing” subscription model.
The same consumers who delight in navigating the iPad still click frustratingly through cable channels to find a basketball game. Their complaint: Why can’t television be more like a tablet?
The technology industry is trying to address that question for the millions of customers ready to embrace the next generation of viewing options. In the process it could transform the clunky cable interface, with its thousands of channels and a bricklike remote control, into a series of apps that pop up on the television screen.
While still in its early stages, the idea has taken off among tech-loving consumers, and companies are trying to satisfy them. Already, apps for Hulu Plus, Netflix and Wal-Mart’s Vudu streaming service, among others, are built into Internet-enabled televisions. Devices like Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and the streaming video player Roku let viewers watch apps that mimic channels. New sets by Samsung and others come with built-in apps loaded with television shows, movies and sports.
Apple has a video player called Apple TV with apps to Netflix, Major League Baseball and other content. Many media executives predict Apple will ultimately enter the television market in a more aggressive way, with either a new set-top box or an Apple-made TV set…
A model built around TV apps, however, could let viewers use favorite apps on the screen on an á la carte basis, thus bypassing cable subscriptions and all the extraneous channels they don’t watch. And therein lies the tension that has the television industry delicately assessing how to balance the current system with an Internet-based future that some feel is inevitable….À la carte apps would upend the entrenched and lucrative economics of television, which have long relied on a system in which cable customers pay for channels even if they don’t watch them.
So you own an iPad and want to make movies or TV shows anyway? The Padcaster (shown above) could be your solution:
It’s a super sturdy, $200 iPad case that attaches to a tripod and a camera lens, promising a cost-effective method for tapping into the performance of Apple’s improved camera hardware….
For those questioning the iPad’s video chops, know this: The third-generation model can record 1080p video at up to 30 fps, which is actually on par (spec-wise, at least) with some DSLRs. Although the iPad certainly won’t give you the same 35mm quality look as top-of-the-line DSLRs, it does offer the added benefit of acting as an all-in-one workstation where you can not only capture photos and video, but also edit it too. In all, a Padcaster/iPad combo could be an invaluable combo for shooting, editing and distributing polished videos remotely, on the fly.