What kind of television will we be watching in 2025?
The UN-proclaimed World Television Day was celebrated on Friday 21 November. This makes right now a most appropriate time to pause and envision what will happen to television as a medium in the coming years.
The boldest visionaries have been foretelling the death of television for quite some time. In 2009, Microsoft predicted that Internet use will surpass television in June 2010, while IBM published an extensive report titled The end of television as we know it in 2009.
Yet television is now more popular than ever. It is watched for more than three hours a day and viewing habits have diversified rapidly.
Getting too comfortable could result in disaster, however, if the TV business fails to keep its gaze firmly fixed on the crystal ball and neglects to react to future developments.
Personally, I can see three key lines of development that will shape television into a very different medium by the year 2025.
The most important factor is without a doubt digitalisation – digital high-definition devices will have attained 100% penetration well before 2025.
Every person and household will possess several terminal devices, which make it easy to watch, share and comment on their favourite content irrespective of time and place.
The number of digital channels will also have grown, with some available only on the net. The services of traditional media houses, such as MTV Katsomo or Yle Areena, will become rallying points, forums.
They will gather a media company's channels into one space that is shared with hundreds of other smaller channels, which will be produced by one or several enthusiastic media talents.
Talent is another key success factor. In the future, content creation will become more democratic because anyone can have the enthusiasm, creativity and technical ability it requires.
Media companies should pay close attention to the efforts of young talent, as these people introduce a new kind of joy and lightness to content creation. The best talent of the tube generation will be fought over fiercely.
How different forms of advertising develop is also of decisive significance to the future of commercial television.
In future, the distance from a viewer's favourite content to shopping opportunities will be shorter than ever before.
The boundaries between media, commerce and services will be mercurial and advertising can be targeted with microscopic precision. Advertisers will no longer have to offer everything to everyone, as personalised ad messages can be crafted for every need. By 2025, advertisers will have access to an unprecedented ocean of opportunities.
To summarise, I note that television can look forward to an awesome decade of development. In 2025, the word television will in fact refer to any media surface – even a fridge door – through which content can be watched. The rumours of television's demise have been greatly exaggerated, TV is just shedding its skin.
CEO of MTV Oy