Demon Hunting and Tenth Dimensional Physics: What Comes After Netflix?

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

What Comes After Netflix?

Today, I'm getting weird. Hopefully you'll come along with me.

So in the 1800s, the big entertainment was theater and serialized fiction released in newspapers. There's a reason Charles Dickens's work was so damn long: he got paid by the word to release serialized stories.

Around the 1920s and 1930s, we were moving into the age of film, and 1927 was the first "talkie" released in the cinema.

By the 40s and 50s, serialized fiction was already on the way out, and instead we had the rise of fiction magazines and pulp novels.

The 50s and 60s saw the rise of home television and the death of road shows and the grand Hollywood musical. The 70s and 80s brought us home movies and the first ability to record from our televisions. 90s and 00s? The rise of the internet and the final death throes of the magazine industry.

Now our entertainment is, surprising no one, in flux. Theatre exists, but is now purely for the elite. Magazines basically have to give their issues away for free in an attempt to make money...somehow. Big publishing is in a constant struggle with indie publishing for books. Ebooks...are a thing.

And our TV and movie watching is steadily being replaced more and more by streaming services. Most of my generation (Millennials) are fine having no "actual TV," and instead just have whatever combination of streaming services works for them.

(If you're curious, my "perfect mix" would be Netflix, Crunchyroll, Disney+, and DC Universe.)

With all that in mind, I find myself wondering...what comes after Netflix? Right now, not only are we solidly in the "Netflix Era" of visual media, but we're also at the point where every new subscription/feed/streaming/borrowing service is compared to Netflix. Kindle Unlimited is the "Netflix of books." Music streaming largely came before ubiquitous video streaming, but I've still heard folks describe things like Spotify as "Netflix for music."

So when everything is Netflix...what do we think comes next? What happens after streaming falls by the wayside?

I have some thoughts, and most of them are half-baked at best. I'm imagining a YouTube-style platform for books. You can read X-amount of pages, then you have to watch an ad. I'm not saying that's a good thing, but I can certainly see it happening that way.

I can easily imagine a future where magazines have no choice but to condense themselves down or find new ways to bring in ad revenue.

I also think (This is my least half-baked idea.) that media is going to have to condense as a whole. A magazine will include music and video, that sort of thing. We're no longer going to have such stark delineations between different types of media.

But those are just my thoughts, however. Where do you see our media consumption going? Let me know in the I can shamelessly steal them and try to get ahead of the curve.


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