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Jeffory Cole

Who owns your streaming TV service?  A computer maker, a retailer, or a search engine?  This week on The Futurists we learn about the never-ending cyclone of disruption that has been tormenting the media industry for years. Our guest is Jeffrey Cole of the Center for the Digital Future, a longtime advisor to the major motion picture studios.  https://www.digitalcenter.org/jeffrey-cole-director/

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this week on the futurist Jeffrey Cole we'd sit down at the internet notknowing where we were going so I mean that's the real sign of success I think when it becomes not session but becomessoundtrack to your life [Music]well hi there and welcome to the futurist I'm Rob turcic with my co-host Brett King hey hey this week we've got agreat guest uh Jeffrey Cole Jeffrey is the founder and the and the director of the center for the digital futureat USC's Annenberg school and he's an expert in media all things media and inparticular digital media and we'll get into the future of media and maybe thefuture of Television which is looking a little bit like it's in doubt but before we jump into that uh let's just goaround and do some round of introductions here Jeffrey welcome to the show it's great to have you here today thanks Rob thanks Brett great tobe here so we are uh you are coming to us from New York at a hotel room uh we are allscattered to the winds uh reconvening here virtually to record the show hey Brett anything on the news radarthis week well you know I did see Tim Cook debating you know being skeptical about the metaverse and um you know I dothink the metaverse is a longer term play I I do think that I I you know I Ithink it has huge potential um and as you know we've talked about the potential for metaverse to distractfrom inequality combined with universal basic income and things like that but he made the point that we you know like wehave our smartphones today and some of it's wishful thinking but I think it's um you know it got a basis in fact isthat augmented reality we're going to wonder how we lived without augmented reality in you know in in the future sobut but this is very different from VR when we talk about design aspectsbecause in VR you're designing immersive you know virtual world experiences wherein augmented reality you're augmenting the existing experience and if you do that elegantly then it will be somethingthat is uh you know that that we can't live without right yeah it's like oursmartphones today but if you do it poorly then you know um you know we've all seen those depictions on YouTube andso forth so I think this is going to be an interesting debate obviously part of this messaging is getting the crowdready for the I reality glasses or whatever they yeah that they end up calling them but uh I think what'sinteresting about this is his confidence in the level ofum disruption AR is going to bring to our lives and and you know how it's going to enhance our lives through thisTech and I've been more a believer in the AR stuff than the VR and so I I'mreally excited to see where the the Apple product goes in that but that's all that's all I had this week no I showthat enthusiasm you notice uh in the background here there's a bit of jockeying between uh between Apple andmeta yes uh and and uh you know Mark Zuckerberg has has been very outspokenin criticizing Apple because they're doing their own thing and he's accusing them of trying to build their own metaverse and not being interoperableand and so forth and thereby trying to position you know meta as the friendly metaverse company good luck with thatand Matt is working on AR as well though which is interesting so their approach is everything right project area yeahyeah so they treat the metaverse like a garbage can and you can throw every extent of reality concept into itum and that that's kind of why it's such a loose and baggy definition what the heck is a metaverse right and Tim Cook'sbeing very clear he's like that's not a very good that's not a very well defined term we've heard that from other guests on this show as well uh and um it was aterm that surfaced very quickly to give some camouflage to Zuckerberg whenFacebook when all of a sudden without with no warning they change their corporate name their whole direction totrying to take the focus off of Facebook so right because Facebook's brand has become toxic and to a lot of people it'snot something they want to be associated with yeah so the metaverse is like it's a it's a magic trick it's like look over here at the metaverse don't look at ourugly place where we're making money today um but but Apple's more deliberate uh so one of the things you'll notice the lastum the last couple quarters everyone's been expecting Apple to unveil that new reality headset and they haven't done soit's been teased it's been rumored and so forth A lot of people are looking forward to it uh the rumors are verypositive uh but Apple's withheld that they've been very quietly advancing other parts of their business one thingthey haven't done is gotten themselves exposed to all the hoopla and hype um because they understand that there'sa significant backlash from Wall Street when you hype something that's not ready for prime time uh the evidence of thatof course is meta where the stock is trading at 50 of where it was a year ago precisely because they overhyped thisconcept so I think Tim Cook is demonstrating that he's got a maybe a steadier grip on leadership there andmessaging uh so it'll be interesting to see what does come forward well the the other thing is this is going to be thefirst major product that Apple has launched since you know except the I theairpods right yeah and and the watch since uh Steve left usum but I I do believe that smart glasses are going to be the next big Computingplatform I think they're going to be a lot more consumer um you know friendly than than VR in theinitial instance um and this could set Apple off on youknow a entirely New Direction and and it does change the Paradigm in terms ofdelivery of content and delivery of functionality we have to move away from the app experiences to now these chunksof embedded utility you know in in the field of view which which is a new paradigm again in terms of developmentof businesses and commerce and things like that that we we have to explore so it's a really interesting stage yeah andthat's good because the app stores are slowing down right there's still a booming business it's not like they're declining but they don't see that theydon't experience that rapid growth that they've had for the past 10 years you know there's an interesting Nuance in what Tim Cook said yesterday which is umhe pointed out that virtual reality immersive experiences like virtual reality are session based he said it'sgreat for a little while but you can you know you really get a lot of benefit out of it he's a fan but it's session based in other wordsyou're not going to use it all the time and anyone you know personally who has a VR headset will tell you they use it a couple times a month maximum likenobody's using it on a daily basis or all day long which is kind of the vision that we've heard from the people who arepromoting the metaverse so the distinction here is really you can draw an analogy to uh dial-up internet whichwas session based in the 90s you know people would sit down on the computer they'd plug the phone line in funnynoises from the modem and then they'd be online for a little while and then they'd be offline right so that wassession based now today with ubiquitous Broadband uh we're on full time likewe're always on we're always connected um I think I guess that's the point isn't it like Apple's aiming for thealways-on experience right they're not interested in the session and I think they're smart about that and the VR stuff tends to beum I want to watch a movie or be in a movie you know or um you know play a computer game it's it's sort of thatentertainment space but it's not as applicable as they are which you know you could be living with 24 7 righttelevision started a session based and the earliest days of Television we wouldturn the set on to watch a show we might be sucked in with a promo to the nextbut then we turned it off and then quickly we learned hey we like television and we'd walk in a room andturn it on not knowing what was on changing the channel until we found either the thing we wanted to watch oras Paul Klein at NBC used to say the least objectionable programming and theinternet started the same way we'd make a list on a Post-It note of the eight things we wanted to do online and thenlog off and go watch television and then we figured out we like the internet as background noise and we sit down at theinternet not knowing where we were going so I mean that's the real sign of success I think when it becomes notsession but becomes soundtrack to your life like like radio right before both of those the radio became the wallpaperuh do you like well well Jeffrey you've got a great perspective on the future of mediaum and and one of the things we were just talking about before the show is this concept of disruption uh you knowthat word gets used an awful Lots I have a friend who started a suitcase company and he described it as a disruptivesuitcase which to me sounds like an exploding suitcase and I said gently I said look um don't you think you'reoverusing this term a little bit he said no this is absolutely a disruptive suitcase and I just sort of shook myhead um get smart but exactly hello chief is Maxbut you could say there's an argument that that the media industry has been ahundred year history of one successive disruptive wave of innovation after another tell us a little bit about thatJeff sure I love the word disruption and it does get completely overuseddisruptions not Innovation it's not an improvement it's a whole new way ofdoing things that Challenges Old business models companies sometimescan't survive disruption I mean we can talk about how companies when they seedisruption coming Double Down bury their heads in the sand sometimes have theircompetition made illegal as in the case of taxi companies with Uber andautomobile dealers with the ways Tesla sells its cars but sometimes directdisruption can't be fought you know for example digital photography Kodak one ofthe three greatest brand names on planet Earth almost not a person who couldn'trecognize them by their orange and yellow colors there was no way theycould survive digital photography you know most of us over the age of 45probably spent 50 000 In Our Lifetime on photography between cameras filmprocessing albums today teenagers will take a thousand times more photos than Iever took and the lifetime expenditure maybe twenty five dollars so disruptionsare a whole new way style of doing things that challenges the whole way theindustry operates it's not an improvement Dolby sound is not a disruption of the movie businessum putting IMAX or bringing food to the seat is notan improved is an improvement Not A disruption I'm interested in disruption the fact that it rarely comes from wherewe expect it to come from the disruption of the retail business should have comefrom Walmart or Target not some upstart Bookseller in Seattle the disruption ofthe movie theater business should have come from the studios not a BlockbusterVideo rental and then Netflix the disruption of cars should have come fromFord or Toyota not some arrogant South African it challenges the whole systemincidentally we need some arrogance for disruption there yeah the point you're making is that the incumbents can'tdisrupt themselves right this is always always their problem there are a few examples Best Buy is an example of achain store that did disrupt themselves but rarely can they disrupt themselvesand incidentally just on Tesla you know musk is a triple disrupter with Teslaquadruple disruptor if you count PayPal but at the Tesla disrupted the internalcombustion engine disrupted the way cars are sold through dealer networks anddisrupted the advertising model you know Tesla has never spent a more a penny onAdvertising they don't need to all you need to do is have every gas station post prices but when you buy an averageprice General Motors car today about eighteen hundred dollars of the purchaseprice goes to advertising Tesla never a penny incidentally you're talking aboutApple Apple's been rumored beyond the glasses been rumored of working on a carrumored to be working in health care if Apple ever does introduce a car they'llbe in the same position as Tesla is there anyone in America who would not goand look at an Apple car an icar potentially just to see what it is theymight not buy it but is there anybody who wouldn't go look at it so disruptionjust turns everything upside down and you're right the media business has beendisrupted from the very beginning starting with sound um incidentally Damien chazelle the theacademy award-winning director of La La Land and Whiplash his film thisChristmas Babylon is the understand the understory the behind the scenes storyof the movie business going from silent films to talking the only other thingswe've ever seen are Singing in the Rain where it's played for comedic effect but there were suicides around theconversion to talking there were careers there were ruined businesses that wentbankrupt it's pretty darn interesting story interesting and that movie is going to get into it uh so television italso was a disruptive force in the early days right because he had a very established Motion Picture business andextradition right here and talk a little about that well certainly I I love radiowhich disrupted radio absolutely right Brad although we should find a word 10times as strong radio before television what and was this National medium liveoriginal content the biggest stars went into radio and families used to sit downand make appointments to listen to radio and for reasons I've ever understood watch the radio uh television comesalong all the content sucked out of radio all the big stars with a handfulof exceptions of people who sounded good but didn't look good uh went intotelevision radio had no economic model it became a tool of the music businessbecause it could get that content for free without having to produce it radiowent from National to local and sadly with no original content and becamebackground noise where do people listen to the radio in the car in the showeryes the radio completely disrupted and then television disrupted the moviebusiness in the 19 in 1946 in North America wesold 4.3 billion movie tickets to keep Pace the populations more thandoubled we'd have to sell about 10 billion movie tickets uh 2019 the last normal year of themovie business we sold 1.2 billion so the movie theater business became ashell of what it used to be because of Television so television was the biggestdisrupter and of course now the old television business is being completelydisrupted well great you bring that up let's get into that because I think that's a timely topic you know from aconsumer standpoint today people feel like wow I've got abundant Choice maybetoo much choice there's so many different options for streaming there's more than 200 different streaming services in the USand um and of course there's you know still cable television and broadcast TV and so forth uh so we're sort ofsurrounded by over Choice um but from an economic standpoint that's not really such a great business model can you talk a little bit aboutthe changes that are happening right now in the in the TV business well first of all people don't like too much Choice uhyou know people don't like Cheesecake Factory menus of 30 pages where it takestoo long to process you can't really get a handle on it restaurant owners know people like seven to ten choices enoughchoices to feel you can make a choice you know and and before cable theaverage television market a big city had seven television stations ninety percentof viewing was on three ABC CBS and NBC 30 years later most markets had wellover a hundred and ninety percent of viewing was on seven or eight so we don't like a lot of choice but whatwe're seeing the real disruption we're we're seeing I think in the television world is we're seeing the originalLegacy players the ones who were the forces in radio and controlledtelevision well into the 90s the broadcast networks and the three Imentioned and fox their demise has been predicted for twogenerations but I think we're on the verge of it and I think what's real first of all the networks see that whichis why um ABC has Hulu and Disney plus we'll seeif they hang on to Hulu NBC has peacock CBS has Paramount plus so first theyalready see a future where they're moving their programming over there but what I think finally ends broadcasttelevision in the next three to eight years is the loss of sports sports theonly thing we watch on network television live the only thing that canaggregate a massive audience in the last couple of years of the top10 shows of broadcast television nine have been Sports and eight have been NFLfootball well now there's players competing for those rights Amazon andapple they're both buying rights and when they decide they want all those rights as I said to CBS about three anda half years ago you know on NFL contracts they said who's going tocompete with the richest man in the world at that time Jeff Bezos not youand when they lose Sports and they're just not going to be able to come up with the money that Sports can commandnothing's left that whole thing collapses there and I think that's whenbroadcast television makes sense well that that's I think you know an important element becauseum you know if if you think about where TV demonstrates traded differentiationfrom traditional streaming was the live aspect you know but there's not a lot oflive content Beyond Sports you know there's there's events but if you look at things like you know like the uh theSpaceX launch of of the first astronauts back to the International Space Station as an example that was streaming it wasa streaming event you know um yes it did play on NASA TV and and things like that but if you think aboutit now what do we need to do live through broadcast you know well news no that can be session based um and all theInnovations move to Twitch like there is innovation not happening on broadcast yeah because participatory twitch atleast you know but Jeffrey let me ask you a question but to build on that or kind of bridge back to the point that Brett was making the economics ofbroadcast are incredibly cheap you know once you've built the Tower that you can broadcast from you're using publicAirwaves uh you don't have to pay for copper cable on the ground or Fiber uh you're not having to pay for ban withwhich is a gigantic expense for streaming services so doesn't it seem to you that broadcast TV is always going tolinger at least in the background in some some form because essentially it's free to Air it's free to broadcast wesaw during covid that public television and local television made significantgains cable and stream everything grew during covet but particularly public andlocal and to my a little bit of my surprise they've held on to those games so I think there's going to be room forlocal television in a different way than we've seen it before but I think whatthe you know the broadcasters what talent they've lost not only will theylose Sports they've lost most of what made them special They you know they ownsituation comedies and 60-minute dramas that's almost in most years thebroadcast cast networks would have one Emmy nominated show and it was SaturdayNight Live happened we happened to be this year there's a show on ABC that's creating some Buzz Abbott Elementarywhich is the first traditional but most of that most of the sitcoms and dramashave been lost to streaming and uh there's not much left onbroadcast that they can compete and do well okay now there's a simple framing that we hear a lot which is uhtraditional TV versus streaming media right you hear this constantly this is kind of like the simplistic way ofthinking about it oh everything's going to the internet but when you appear a little closer it turns out there's lotsof flavors of Television we talked about a few of them cable TV broadcast we could talk about satellite that's alsotrue on the internet uh streaming services there's many different versions of streaming services most people arefamiliar with uh svod subscription video on demand that services like Netflix Disney plusHBO Max and so forth and the advantage of these Services is you subscribe andyou can watch anything you want whenever you want on whatever device you want that's a really compelling value proposition particularly for ageneration that grew up with smartphones and tablets because they can start watching on one device and migrate to another and seamlessly pick it up andmore importantly you don't have to do what you do with broadcast TV you don't have to watch in pattern you don't have to sit down at a certain time and watchTV what we used to call appointment TV and you don't have to like use a DVD or some device to record it you can justclick and play not honestly after 10 years of that most people are conditioned to it so that's definitely apreference but svod is not the only offering right there's other offerings there's advertising supported VOD andnow these new Services called fastyeah that's right why don't you tell us a little bit about the distinction of fast because that seems to be where themomentum is now and incidentally just one quick thing on S5s which are thechannels most people know Netflix Hulu HBO max they're really you know theywere able to attract those subscription fees because they had no interruptionsand I think far more important than no interruptions was no editing of contentyou could see the themes and the explicitness that you couldn't see onbroadcast television that changes next year now with the exception of Apple TVplus they're all going to have advertising and so we know there are going to be interruptions it remains tobe seen if you can run shows like the wire or sex love on Netflix withadvertisers supporting it or will it get homogenized and you know in some waysyou could make the case that in the next two years the streaming worlds go look an awful lot like cable television wowso everything all is new again but the economics are not as good so we should probably drill into that because there'sa big argument that the economics of media are changing and the people that benefit from the companies that benefitfrom it might not be the old media companies themselves before we do that though we should do our lightning roundthis is the part of the show where Brett asks you a series of questions and you give us quick answers all right allright so Jeff what was the first science fiction you remember being exposed to onTV or via books Twilight Zone ma interesting yeahthey made futurist or entrepreneur that has influenced you and why ah IsaacAsimov I thought his work holds up brilliantly so that probably answers the second thenext question as well which is what's the best prediction a futurist or sci-fi practitioner or entrepreneur has evermade in your assessment that's a really interesting questionum the one the one I always liked it wasn't a futurist but it was a theatrical film I always liked theprediction from Planet of the Apes that we were going to blow ourselves up and be taken over by Apes very cool yeah andwhat science fiction story is most representative of the future you hope forthere was an episode of Black Mirror um with uh Ron Howard's daughter uhBryce Dallas Howard where every every evaluation in our life every interactionin our life was rated and all of a sudden our rating and fromall the interactions in our life determine what jobs we got where we lived what kind of lives we had I thinkwe're heading in that direction yeah yeah I forget the name of that episode yeah all right cool well great uh so weare uh you're listening to the futurists and we are talking today to Jeffrey Cole from the center for digital future atUSC Edinburgh hang on tight we're gonna go do a break and we'll be back in just a minuteprovoked media is proud to sponsor produce and support the futurist podcastprovoke.fm is a global podcast Network and content creation company with theworld's leading fintech podcast and radio show Breaking Banks and of course it's spin-off podcast breaking BanksEurope breaking Banks Asia Pacific and the fintech 5. but we also produce the officialphenovate podcast Tech on reg emerge everywhere the podcast of the FinancialHealth Network and next-gen Banker for information about all our podcasts go toprovoke.fm or check out breaking Banks the world's number one fintech podcastand radio showyou're back with the futurist I'm Brett King and joined by Rob turczak Our Guestthis week is Jeffrey Cole and we're going to dive more into the future ofmedia and so forth but before that I want to do a quick Deep dive so um robyou know one of the the the impacts of hurricane Ian is that it's it's givingus a glimpse as we talked about um in the previous show with with Thomas Frey is giving us a bit of a glimpseinto the future of a climate affected world and one of the early warning signsthat we see is the collapse of the property insurance sector and soum to give you some perspective on this the average Property Insurance homeowners insurance now in in Floridain Hurricane affected areas for Hurricane Insurance there's over five thousand dollars a year now and this hasresulted in a major issue you for insurance so what we have already isseven seven property insurance companies in Florida are already in liquidationand 12 others are in distress and sothis is a major issue in respect to the Fallout of climate change becauseum you know we talk about the the impact of the cost of damage um you know the potential impact of umyou know power the power grid water quality supply chain on food and soforth but the early stress testing of the system is really the insuranceindustry not only are the prices going up in Florida but it's now affectingaffordability of homes because if you can't afford to insure a home then youknow how do you go about assessing how much you should spend on a home so this has some pretty significant implicationsnow there is um a special session um that uh the Florida legislature hasuh is uh going to look at um some support for property owners and for homeinsurance uh in Florida but this is a growing uh concern for Florida residentresidents but it it really I think is a bit of that Canary in the coal mine whathappens when insurers no longer can afford to ensure those assets ofproperty Assets in a state like Florida what's going to be the implications ofthat from you know does the state have to step in this is this is you knowobviously we have a longer term thing to build climate resilience in terms of our building codes in terms ofinfrastructure and things like that but in the short term what happens when insurers won't insure you anymore because of the risk of climate changethat's something that um it's going to be interesting to see pay out yeah yeah it's a powerful signal you know there's a lot of just information and manyDivergent viewpoints on climate change as an issue uh we get this cacophony in our politics here where some people denyit entirely still despite all the Abundant evidence but one industry that doesn't mess around one industry that isfact-based is the insurance industry they have Actuarial tables that tell them exactly what they can forecast andwe talk about different methodology is for predicting the insurance companies are pretty good at forecasting that'stheir business right they're making a bet and they're making a bet they're putting real skin in the game when they make that bet uh so if they're tellingyou now that they can't afford to insure an area that is implications not just for Florida but as uh as the water heatsup as the oceans start to heat up and as currents change it's going to move northward and we're going to start to see that weather pattern hit theCarolinas as well in Georgia uh so that whole coastal region the Southeast U.S and elsewhere in the world is going tobe endangered and there may be they may be uninsurable yeah let's get back into it with Jeffreyuh so Jeffrey thank you for listening to our news Break um we want to resume the conversation soJeffrey here's the thing that's interesting to me you know uh I worked in the media industry for 20 or 30 years and um worked with some big companiesmovie studios TV companies and so on and what I noticed is that there was a change uh the prestige in in the 80s and90s was in the motion picture business uh but then gradually in the 90s and 2000s it shifted to cable televisionbecause that's where the money was and with uh you know uh channels like HBO and Showtime you could also do thingsthat you couldn't do in a movie you could do longer scenes some more complicated shows um and maybe better characterizationdeeper characterization and so it's also a medium uh that attracted a lot of really talented people as well sothere's a shift a shift from Motion Pictures towards paid TV cabletelevision um and with that uh the companies that played that well they grew much biggerright so they Consolidated a lot of cable on that paid for for much bigger movie studios sometimes two movie studiosbut now there's a new shift to happening there's a new sheriff in town There's a new consolidator and that's the big techcompanies it's not just Apple we talked about Apple TV of course Amazon is a bigplayer not just in streaming video with the Prime video service but also in live video with twitch so Amazon's a biggerplayer in uh in in video than people will realize we see that Walmart wantsto get into streaming media and their partnership with NBC and peacock and other companies are you know exploringthe space today of the big Motion Picture companies uh most of them are owned by electronics companies telecomscompanies or uh Amazon or retailer effectively tell us a little bit aboutthat shift what's behind that shift what are the economics that are driving uh these other kinds of companies toacquire Motion Picture companies well all of these companies you mentioned who acquired Motion Picture companies uhwere relative were culturally extraordinarily and influential buteconomically we're rather small entities and you know five years ago RupertMurdoch the most powerful man in the whole entertainment media business looked around and realized he couldn'tcompete anymore he had become a small player his competition wasn't Warner andUniversal and uh and Paramount it was Apple Google Facebook Amazon Microsoftand then to them most of the these companies are rounding errors you knowTim Cook I think got into Apple TV plus sort of as alarm as an experiment to seeyou know that maybe we ought to look into it you know he brings over two of the best television Executives from yourold company Sony says guys I don't know if we really want to do this but let'ssee and then he reaches into his pocket as if as if he's looking for sparechange and says oh here's six billion dollars so this is the scale has changedthe question is how much of this is a vision for where they fit in how muchhelps the existing business as as um Amazon thinks their streaming servicedoes for Prime and how much is ego you know and they the entertainment businesshas always attracted real estate Moguls oil Wild caters who like going to theOscars and standing next to movie stars and Jeff Bezos goes to the Oscars andthe premieres and Tim Cook shows up he doesn't look like he's having as good a time as Bezos but they've changed thewhole equation they uh you know what one one example just one Shannon you knowwhen when a t bought Time Warner they spent 40 percent of their market capbuying Time Warner if Apple were to spend 40 of its marketcap they could buy Netflix and Disney forget the regulatory issues and have 80billion dollars left over so they've just changed they've changed the whole scale and thequestion is who do these guys want to be and I think the answer is anything they want to beokay I hear you on that but I'm curious about this uh what's the economic upsideyou know so I get it as an eagle play there's probably there's a lot of Truth to that right it's fun to walk on thered carpet with a fast fashionable model on your arm I get that yeah um so sure there's the The Lure of egoum but these companies are also economically driven right and they're Global powerhouses and clearly they seethat adding video and rich media to their portfolio is somehow going to enhance their business I think it'sabout engagement right it's like engaging you users across different aspects of the platform I don't knowJeffrey no I would agree with that but no they really douh I mean I mean bringing spending a billion dollars on Twitch and a billion is arounding error to Amazon gave them really access to an audience theycouldn't get any other way a massive audience in the Esports world I thinkthey see streaming doing that for them I mean I think they see this ascompliments to their business um most of them haven't gone in in avery big way yet I mean you know and certainly to the degree that Netflixwent in with 20 billion dollars at their Peak but I think they see it as a realcomplementary uh asset to their business so okay there's been a wave ofconsolidation um in the last four years right so I guess so it's describe it like thissince Netflix started streaming around 2007 uh at first they were dismissed anddenied and people said it wasn't going to be important I remember very clearly Jeffrey bukas who was running HBO at thetime running Time Warner at the time he left them off as the Albanian Army and so forth you may remember those days Ido a lot of those great quotes but but by the mid 2010s the story started to change because at that point we saw thatcable TV had stopped growing broadcast TV numbers were going down and meanwhile streaming numbers were going uprelatively quickly um and as uh as Netflix approached the 100 million user Mark and started tointroduce new countries the media companies kind of woke up and realized wow we've got to change our game so youpointed out that a number of the big broadcast companies have now launched their own competing streaming services but that's not all they've also starteduh came a game of musical chairs where they've been doing mergers and Acquisitions uh Disney very famouslyunder Bob Iger assembled an incredible portfolio of brands with Star Wars withthe Marvel franchise and then most recently by Diane Fox outright from Rupert Murdoch who as you point out hehe cashed in his chips he left the table he's like I can't compete at this level we also saw a t acquire Time Warner alegendary Studio One of the gems of the media business I don't think they manage that transition very well and just threeyears later they spun it back out into kind of a shotgun wedding with Discovery Communications we're at lingers todaybut burdened with tens of billions of dollars of debt Amazon swooped in and bought MGM at a grossly inflated priceof about eight billion dollars uh general you know the view from the street was it should have been more than four or five billion dollars in valuebut anyway they bought that in order to acquire that huge library and some motion picture production capacity sowe've seen now is that uh there's been a wave of mergers and Acquisitions who's next who do you think is next to getacquired Netflix stock has plummeted since the beginning of the year they're now trading at about a quarter wherethey were a year ago do you think Netflix is up for grams absolutely I think uh Netflix and youmay see Microsoft get interested although so far in our Nadella has saidhe's not interested in media you know we had eight studios in the 30s we havefive there's talk that Comcast may make a play for a Warner Media or Warnermedia discovery that would take us down to four um I think we know oh you mentionedearlier that Walmart has been interested in streaming and almost pulled thetrigger on starting its own streamer now it's affiliated with Paramount plus theymay I think Paramount is a really good acquisition Target for somebody likeWalmart uh and then there's the question of Google and I have YouTube which theygrew organically but not do they want to make a move I mean Idon't think you know I I don't think you're going to see I think that what five years ago people were talking about10 cent and Alibaba moving into American Media the way Sony did to Colombia yeahand Matt shoots did with universal I don't think you're going to see the Chinese I think it's going to be purelyan American play but yeah I think absolutely Netflixparticularly at the reduced value Disney could be an easy acquisition Target youknow Apple's been you know eyeing Disney for years they've never done anythingabout it to this point so yeah I don't think there's anybody that's too big tobe acquired among the existing media players okay now we're talking about kind of Game of Thrones uh on the medialandscape you know who's gonna buy whom but all the companies we're talking about are Legacy brands from the pastum I've got the same question like what's what's the up what's the opportunity for someone new to come inand blow this up well I think we're seeing it I think we're seeing it a lot of times Brad on the show we talk about demographics and how demographics is oneof the iron laws of the future it's going to determine the future by and large if you had anybody from uh if duckto anybody under the age of 30 they don't care about MGM they're not interested in the machinations of TimeWarner Discovery um what they care about is Tick Tock and YouTube overwhelmingly YouTube is their numberone source for video Yeah in terms of growth Tick Tock is the fastest growing not just in terms of users but also interms of advertising Revenue so Jeffrey talk to us about that disruption from new companies that candidly don't have astake in the old model therefore they're primed to disrupt the old model you're absolutely right about the Legacymeans nothing to and and even even those who knew the Legacy couldn't tell you inthe last 50 years what's the difference between a Paramount movie and a Warner Brothers movie it was just a legacy sortof of quality or big budget um I think what Tick Tock has done ispretty darn extraordinary so much that it uh really you know I think one of thegreat interesting stories of the pandemic was What Jeffrey katzenberg tried to do with quibby and of course hegets a pass on quibby because he was creating a video service for people on the go whenyou released it at a time when they weren't going anywhere but even had there been no pandemic quibby wouldn'thave survived because he was trying to get six bucks a month out of a Teenage audience who really believeseverything's free and and would prefer the less glossy look of tick tock so Ithink there's lots of room for new players on a different scale the onearea that they can't compete but that's the area that's not working so well anyway is on spending 20 billion dollarson Hollywood type production and this is the year that we figured out thatstreaming is not going to cure cancer and end world hunger and there can't beyou know I think one of the biggest winners in covid were the movie theaters who could have disappeared we've neverseen an industry totally disrupted to where it was closed for a year thestudios got to do all the experimentation that the theater owners never wanted on short windows day anddate adding content on to streamers none of it worked very well on the theaters Ithink came out of covid stronger than almost anybody else they're still stillhave a large chunk of the audience who hasn't gone back quality of film in the theaters isn't so good because mut notmuch was green lit at a high level but I think you got some old players and somenew players that are really sort of interesting but this is the year we found out you can't have a billiondollar movie without a movie theater this is the year we found out thatstreaming doesn't run an entire company it actually complements theatricalrather than replaces it so I I share your view and disruption as we've talkedabout from the beginning comes from unexpected directions okay now one of the things we love to doin this show is open it up for some speculative talk uh let's let's let's hear your vision for the future way outin the future uh Brett's asking me if we can ask about TV in a hundred years it's interesting you're bringing up thecinema which is itself about 125 years old uh and you're talking about a Revival of Cinema which I frankly wasn'texpecting you to say today um do you think the cinema is going to be around in 100 years are we still going to be going to movie theaters andgetting babysitters and you know parking cars and stuff I certainly thinkthat they've lost the mid part of Their audience to streaming but big filmsabsolutely I think they'll be around for a hundred years I think if they everwere going to disappear 2020 was the year there were several of them were onthe verge of bankruptcy the second biggest one is declared bankruptcy Regal they had no audiences people got tostream as much as they wanted had to rely if ever there was a time they weregonna not make it back that was then what you know the guy the guy who reallydeserves but but we're going to have compete we're going to have a ton of competing mechanisms you're going tohave fully immersive storytelling in a virtual world where you can be a part ofthe story you know you'll be able to have these movies that The Classic Movies brought back and you'll be ableto be sitting in the restaurant in Casablanca watching this play out and so forth you know like the ability for usto change storytelling with Technologies immense now interestingly in Star Trekthey depict this with the hollow deck right so Holodeck is where you can have these interactive stories and we canimagine it's a place you go to like a cinema right right we can imagine that sort of Technology now but interestinglythey still occasionally have movie night on Star Trek as sort of a a quaint uhyou know look back to uh to that Medium but having said that the dominantexperience in that world is is the uh um is sort of this immersiveum uh storytelling stuff and so I think I I think um if you look at how to makemovies Interactive um or responsive to an individualaudience and you come down to an audience of one right because the more interactive you make storytellingum and you you know we've seen experimentation with choose your own uh outcomes for movies on Netflix andthings like that but if I truly tailor it to you and your perspective it's notreally a crowd-based experience anymore yeah you're right it doesn't work that's the challenge that's the challenge thatI see that movies have in the future and nobody wants to go next to a theater to pick the ending of the movie no onewants that except we try that it doesn't work well that's what I was going to say I I'm a traditionalist you know I thinkyou're talking about from the 80s clue where which had several different Innings to the movies or interactiveDVDs where you come to a fork in the road and you get to choose and what wefound is people like stories taught to them uh there is a place for 3D there isa place for I don't know what it is yet there is a place for immersive but I think people like sitting back andseeing the story unfold in front of them there is something Community Based rightyeah but we like both look you know this very extended kind of an age-old discussion which is uh the differencebetween experience and storytelling people love experience it's hardwired into us as human beings the experienceis you know a bunch of cavemen with Spirits chasing after a wild animal a wild boar and they bring it down andthey have an incredibly exciting time doing that storytelling is when they're back sitting around the fire eating theboar and the guy with the Gift of Gab or the gal with the Gift of Gab starts to recount the events in a way thatstructures meaning into otherwise random series of events that led to that and incident so we like both right humansare hardware for both and we create entertainment experiences that support both you know certainly for experience you can think theme park you could alsothink virtual reality today the dominant form and the fastest growing form ofmedia is actually games and games is growing super fast and I would argue a gamestake Center Stage when it comes to games make as much money as the big Hollywood Blockbusters now actually a lot more butyeah bigger yeah and and mobile games is bigger than mostly yeah it's crazy how big it is but remember these aremultiplayer experiences right and uh we've had plenty of folks come on the show before we're talking about the metaverse how it's going to grow out ofthe game worlds that it already exists these immersive game worlds but my sense is that that's a virtual place that youcan go for a shared experience but you can do it from home almost all the experiments in doing VR immersive VR ina theater or an arcade setting those have not worked out very well people haven't demonstrated they want to go dothat like leave their home and park and go put on a headset that somebody else wore 15 minutes beforeuh Jeffrey respond to that if you will this idea of Storytelling and experience I think you're absolutely right onexperience but I think for most entertainment people want to listen to astory to see a story in full some of it is age-based I think but I reallybelieve traditional media techniques have lasted you said 125 years and Ishare that the environment has changed and I think it's going to last a lot longer and I still think it's thedominant form of entertainment now talk about Tick Tock though in thatcontext because one of the reasons Tick Tock has been so successful is similar to one of the reasons why YouTube is sosuccessful YouTube succeeded because it had the easiest way to upload video to the web that was the original hook that's why it caught you knowcontraction when 20 other competing firms didn't succeed it was just easier to post a video on YouTube on Tick Tockit's easier to be creative they've made it so simple to create a compelling thing and if you're not that creativewell then you can mimic something else like there's plenty of examples of you know clients and stuff yeah yeah peopletry to mimic that and share it so so I guess what I'm driving at is that this it seems like the new disruptors arefocusing on um self-expression and people having the experience of being storytellers maybe ablend of the two things surely it's fascinating to watch there's your storytelling like Tick Tock is incredibly addictive it's like eatingpotato chips you just can't stop once you get into it there are elements of Storytelling todayin terms of the plot and and so forth that are material in movie making thatthat make really good stories um and so maybe some of that is is whatcan protect that Medium from you know this sort of individualistic approachimmersive storytelling um you know from a technology perspective but it would beinteresting Jeff to see how that plays out but um how can Jeff you know we needto wrap up as time but um how do people find out more about what you're doing at USC and uh they will go to our websiteeverything's free so we're not trying to sell anything at digitalcenter.org and all kinds of ourwork is on there and uh are you on social media personally LinkedIn or I'm on LinkedIn okay great so we'll uh wecan get people to follow you there well it's been it's been fantastic to have you on it's been uh it you know Robobviously has real interest in this field given his his expertise and it's got a great Network in that respect butum this is um this has been something he's wanted to really cover up for a while now Icould tell so it's great to have you on so yes thank you a lot of fun thank you yeah really fun thank you for joining usand there's more to talk about you know there'll be more in the future uh this this concept of AI that generates videoit generates animation we're going to cover in a future episode and we shouldalso get into virtual production which is really which is completely Reinventing the way you make a motionpicture so in a future episode of the futurists we'll cover those times definitely yeah I want to get into likethe tech they pioneered for Mandalorian and all that sort of stuff as well you know yeah and dune it's just like it'sjust taking movie making in such an interesting Direction so um and you know this is the big thing isif you can make these big blockbuster movies but do it much more cheaply thenthe the long longevity of the movie industry extends because it's not youdon't get to a point where it's no longer affordable to produce these Blockbusters so that could beinteresting now you could have very cheap production anyway we're going off on another tangent we better wrap it upall right that's it for this week on the futurist thanks to Jeffrey call Our Guest and uh and thanks to you all foruh joining us um don't forget to leave us a review we're getting really good traction withthe show right now so please um you know post post this interview on social media the interviews you enjoyed uh tell otherpeople about it that's how people find out about the podcast and uh you know um by all means let us know who you'd liketo see as a guest my thanks go out to Elizabeth severins and Kevin hershen umthat help us on the production side from provoke color Navara and silby Johnson on the social media side and the wholeteam provoked and help us put together this show every week that's it for the futurists this week but we will willdefinitely see you again next week until then we'll see you in the future[Music] well that's it for the futurists this week if you like the show we sure hopeyou did please subscribe and share it with the people in your community and don't forget to leave us a five starreview that really helps other people find the show and you can ping us anytime on Instagram and Twitter atfuturistpodcast for the folks that you'd like to see on the show or the questions you'd like us to askthanks for joining and as always we'll see you in the future [Music]

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