To see the future of the media, just look at the future of technology. Indeed, technology and media strategy are becoming more and more connected. As technology becomes increasingly important in the life of the average consumer, consumer behaviour changes. And so, media usage changes.
It has only been 9 years since the launch of the first iPhone. And back then it did not even have an app store yet. Tablets have only been around for about 5 years. Yet today, they are the primary media devices for every consumer. And the smartphone and tablet were just the beginning…
Recently at a large technology fair in America, a Chinese company presented a personal drone that can lift you up from your back yard for a flying commute to work. No piloting experience needed. Step inside, point where you want to go on a Google Maps touchscreen and hit the “liftoff”button. The rest of the flight is executed by autopilot. Once you’ve arrived the drone’s arms fold inwards so it fits a normal parking spot. For about 300K USD you could be the proud owner by the end of this year. And in the next couple of years these things will get cheaper fast. Soon, drones will be huge.
This will change public space, and so this development will shape new possibilities for the media and communication. Lots of new take-off and landing spaces will be created. There might not be 4g connectivity at flying altitude, but the in-flight screens could offer new opportunities for relevant, interactive and creative communication with the captive audience inside drones.
If your house or office happens to be near a popular route you can start renting out your roof or maybe a blind wall as media space. Out of Home media companies should wake up right now. Thinking ahead a little further, larger drones could be equipped with large screens on the outside. Who knows, Blade Runner’s vision of the future could turn out to be more realistic than we’d ever thought…
Personal technology is often used as a status symbol. After the watch, the car and the smartphone, the drone could end up being the next purchase we use to show the neighbours and the colleagues how rich and successful we are. Or, how non-conformist and intellectual we are. Making a car takes a huge investment in resources and energy, but once sold they end up standing still and taking up space for an average of 23 hours a day. What a waste. Wouldn’t it be great if we wouldn’t make the same mistakes again with personal drones?
How about we try and do it differently this time around, make the world a better place? While drones are still too expensive for widespread personal ownership, we have the opportunity to skip the private posession phase entirely. Imagine (media) brands offering an Über type network of Drone transportation. Why would anyone invest in a personal drone that needs space and maintenance if one could have a drone drop out of the sky anytime, anywhere? Hop in, go and take in the video messages on the in-flight screen. Who knows, maybe even do some in-flight shopping. This could be made commecially viable and at the same time save raw materials, in-city space and energy.
Yes, it will take some time. The sky will probably not blacken with the silhouettes of drones by the end of this year. But I hope to have illustrated my point; to see the future of the media you need to look at the future of technology. Personal drones are just one of many of innovations announced for 2016. Consumer behaviour will change with each technological change that gains broad adoption.
This changing consumer behaviour offers new opportunities. To help companies reach their goals and targets, and to help make the world a more interesting and ultimately a better place.
(published previously at Nederlands Medianieuws in Dutch).