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The Celeb Switch?

Technology exudes its omnipresence leaving everyone hypnotized by its charm. Its shimmer is glossier than the glitz of the media and entertainment industry. The transformation of entertainment viewing and content distribution has gravitated realms thanks to advancement in technology. For instance the switch from cable television to DTH/set up box services to eventually the present day OTT platforms (Amazon, Netflix). The multiplex business had its own share of time travel, be it from the halcyon days of drive in theaters to indoor cinema halls.Over time,gradually cinemasreconstructed and reconceptualized themselves to incorporateIMAX 3D and 4D experiencesalong with a 5/7-starexperience, a cherry on the top.

As we are cognizant of the fact, Covid-19 has been a tailwind for the OTT platforms as individuals resorted to binge watching amidst the never-ending lockdown. However Covid-19 brutallydevastated the multiplex businesses due to the impeding social distancing norms. It is evidently apparent that technology can be harnessed to revolutionize businesses and their revenue models.As seen in the case of films being released and distributed over OTT platforms.

Apart from distribution, it is foreseen content development will be driven by artificial intelligence and machine learning, as tech can drill down big data to reckon consumer viewing habits, likes and dislikes. Entirely new experiences will be created leveraging VR and AR to immerse audiences into their favorite movies or shows. This is just a trailer; the possibilities are infinite. Technology will become a directing force for change in the media and entertainment industry.

What would these developments look like? Who will actually be titled a celeb in the future: consumers or movie stars? Why So? Will these developments and changes be for the better or worst? 

Two schools of thought can be ponderedover (you choose what you believe): one that stresses on the influencing power of media and entertainment on individuals primarily younger generations. The other deliberates on the fact that it is actually the consumer who sways it’swand to influence media and entertainment content writers, directors and producers, as they seek ways to please them on the content they demand. The glitz, glamour, fantasy and opulence of the past is nowhere to be seen or heard of, it has vanished in thin air. Consider blockbuster genres gaining popularity since the last few years: biopics, real life-based events, the life of a common man, earthy and relatable content.


Let’s consider the case of advertising: Individuals detest unnecessary intrusion caused by advertisements during their binge hours or free viewing periods. Therefore, the use of ad blockers proliferated as marketers and media bombarded individuals with unwanted and irrelevant advertisements. Thus determining personalized and targeted advertising as a solution for marketers.With the roll out of tech and algos, personalization and targeted offerings became possible and gained transaction. OTT platforms like Netflix or Amazon Prime created their own algos to analyze consumer viewing habits and patterns thus serving them content recommendations on their plate based on their viewing pattern.Therefore, saving them the time to navigate menusscreens.

One revelation is crystalized in the minds of content providers: Individuals prefer to get acquainted with content that is relevant according to their beliefs, wants and needs. AI possess adept power to gain consumer insights based on the data collected by entertainment platforms.Thus, dictating consumer touch points and meaningful content creation. It is predicted that AI in synergy with deep learning and analytics is competent to create storylines, scripts and songs for movies and daily soaps. It can also generate trailers based on what scenes and shots from a movie can grab eyeballs based on the analysis of consumer behaviour and preferences.According to a report from Cognizantsoftware will become the new artist. AI will become the content creator and entertainment producer (tech invasion alert!!!).

Entertainment in any form will need to offer tailored immersive experiences than passive (a story of the past). Chris Milk a VR guru and artist propagates the word ‘story living’than story telling indicating at the immersive experiences that are on its ways for eager audiences. A particular customized story line just for you in real time which would make us feel like it is a part of our life. This brings to mind the bourgeoning gaming industry that together with the future of movies can curate unfathomable viewing + gaming immersive experiences. The concept of AI characters may come to live where they can respond to us in real time. While it may take years for technology to evolve and bring this into reality, it is truly thinking out loud. One thing is true for sure CUSTOMER is the KING as content providers race to attain their attention.

Content providers aim to not only target vision as a sense but all the human senses to encapsulate an immersive experience. A start up Valkyrie aims to harness haptics to help consumers avoid misleading claims about products being marketed by feeling the texture of the product virtually before they decide to purchase it. This sounds insane!!! Moreoverwith VR one can visualize and sense how an individual suffering from autism would interact with the world around and a zillion more such experiences. We would become part of the movies interacting with the characters in real time fulfilling and experiencing our adrenaline rush moments. The synergy of gaming and movies will up their ante with the improvements and novelties in VR and AR.Individuals can party with holographic versions of their favorite celebs anytime thanks to top notch VR and AR experiences.

So, is common man the celeb? or movie stars the celeb? Embracing personalization and the notionof keeping consumers/ viewers as the center of focus for content generation, apparently implies that consumers possess the ultimate power and celeb status! 

With the advent of Covid-19 there will be a surge in the use of VR in live events, green screens whilst shooting, virtual concerts, livestreaming, drones for capturing implausible 360 degree action sequences, live VR events and AI adding a never seen before flavor to movies. 5G will catapult content consumption to the zenith with its supersonic download and streaming speed. The Echo is a startup that offers an avatar-based entertainment venue where individuals can interact with each other’s virtual avatar during entertainment events or conferences to level down the ‘zoom fatigue’. This tech is being utilized by Facebook, Intel and Dell to name a few clients.

Believe it or not blockchain will be embraced with open arms in the field of entertainment. In order to maintain fairness, work ethic and transparency for content providers and developers.As previously the ethos and mechanism of the industry wasdependent ontrust and relationships, which were sometimes manipulated and violated. Novko is an easy to use software that manages legalities, contracts and fee structures to safeguard creative rights, ownership and royalties. Preventing hoaxes, fake news, deep fake will also become a need of the moment to eradicate fraud and chaos due to increased online entertainment activity.Fakespot helps consumers differentiate between fake and real reviews and make right purchasing decisions.


How will we differentiate between what is artificial and what is reality? Individuals may become paranoid with the extent of VR and AR experiences!

We would carve for diversity in content and experiences!(therefore opposites attract)

Tough we are in the notion that we are driving content creation, will AI eventually influence us, as computing power accelerates and quantum computing joins the race?

Who will be responsible for the content created by smart machines?

What about digital ethics and intrusion and privacy issues? (though immersive experiences are being discussed, isn’t it still a form of intrusion, if stressed on in excess?)

No matter how far technology will takeus, human element and creativity can never be owner powered or substituted for. In fact content created by a human beings or a celeb will be dubbed an expensive asset! Handcrafted arts, artifacts, scripts, posters and dialogues will be yearned by consumers. In terms of creativity AI may have its limitations but human mind will never.

Humans will long for each other’s presence finding their way out of the virtual worlds!

These are questions that need answers. It is us who decide how far do we want to accept this technology. Media and entertainment firms need to consider these factors first and foremost before concluding to decisions on profit generation and maximization. The world will become the way we will want it to become?

So the celeb switch seems pretty evident and plausible BUTall stakeholders need to decide fast forward, pause or rewind?


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