Some years you can just feel the rumbling of the train down the tracks. In the past two weeks I’ve found myself in both a Best Buy and B&H — and the level of sophistication and technical curiosity that I witnessed from average consumers is remarkable. From home routers, to cloud computing, to network attached storage, people are building sophisticated media creation and consumption setups in their living rooms.
In 2011, it all comes together. Devices, bandwidth and consumer demand. People are moving away from old sources and passive technology, and embracing social media and social content in way that couldn’t have been imagined just five years ago.
Here are the three big video trends of 2011. Connect. Commerce. Curate.
2011 is the year we Connect.
No longer will Web video be trapped on desktops or laptops. CES in January will be the starting bell in a massive race to the flatscreen. Google TV will make the most noise, and consumers will find that more and more devices will come with GTV chips from Intel already on board. But don’t think that means Google wins – there are nimble and passionate competitors who are going to break out in 2011. Roku and Boxee will battle it out as the kind of the insurgent devices. Apple TV will remain a hobby. And Netflix and Hulu will find that more and more content companies break out their own ‘over-top’ software offerings. Cable’s decline will accelerate as consumers find that they can get everything they want, and more from broadband.
2011 is the year that Content = Commerce.
Back in televisions early days, advertisers were content creators. Remember when “soap operas” were produced by soap companies? Well, now that era is back — and it’s going to be explosive. With content creation tools now easy to use, brands and eCommerce companies will find that they’re going to begin to tell their story in video and in long form. BestBuy will produce content (and gather it) about consumer electronics, Whole Foods will teach cooking, Pepsi will empower their users to tell stories about the Pepsi Refresh campaign. And, given the newly connected world of social media, consumers will like the new conversation brands that they interact with.
2011 is the year we Curate.
The result of this massive explosion of content creation is that we are increasingly overwhelmed with choice. Too much content makes finding useful and relevant material increasingly difficult. In a world of unlimited choice, search fails. What we’ll see is a growing category of content curators — individuals, brands, and publishers who choose to be the finders and filters of what matters within their particular niche area of focus. This will force content creators to take a long look in the mirror and realise that they simply can’t make enough content to be relevant, timely, and valuable. But, creation and curation shouldn’t be in conflict and they won’t be going forward. Creators will curate — publications will both commission editorial and find and link to the best of the best. Curated video channels will make their way to your connected flat screen. Advertising will follow.
Oh, and one more thing. 2011 will be the year that business models emerge for content — both creation and curation.
Steven Rosenbaum is a curator, author, filmmaker and entrepreneur. He is the CEO of Magnify.net, a Realtime Video Curation engine for publishers, brands, and Websites. His book “Curation Nation” is slated to be published this spring by McGrawHill Business.
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