TV Viewing is Getting SMART-er

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The title is sort of stating the obvious, but let me explain. I think the majority of my generation caught the back-end of cable TV before digital viewing came in (e.g. SkyTV and Virgin Media). However, with the help of the internet and the greater competitive development of technology, televisions are getting “SMART-er”.

The Death of TV on a Telly

For years now, Sky, Virgin and BT have been a pinnacle part of our furniture. Much of TV viewing requires a box on the TV stand which contains hundreds of different channels. From Hollywood to Bollywood. From Bollywood to Nollywood. Then to Friends on every other channel. I think some show sport, but rumour has it you have to sacrifice a limb for it.

You know when it all changed? When screens replaced buttons on devices which became heavily reliant on the internet. That changed television in a way which we constantly overlook. It is leading to the death of television on a telly (if it has not already happened). Netflix became the ‘King of the Jungle’.

It costs significantly lower than TV boxes, and you don’t actually need a box to view it. Sky Originals from previous years often appear on it, so no need to buy boxsets. In fact, many major TV networks put their shows on Netflix. It offers pretty much the same thing a TV box would, yet you don’t even need a TV to watch it all. Your phone, tablet or laptop can all show it in the same quality.

Future-Vision

Streaming is taking over. TV boxes will soon become a thing of the past. Think about it. Streaming services are half the price, accessible everywhere at any time, accustomed to you and…NO ADVERTS!

For the majority of the 10’s, Netflix dominated the streaming scene. I mean Hulu have been around and Amazon Prime snuck in too. But Netflix is the first name you think of in this discussion. However, other big name players are entering the new game. Disney recently launched Disney+ and both ITV and BBC have created a joint service, BritBox, to keep British television up-to-speed.

The question is, what can the likes of Sky and Virgin Media offer that these services can’t? Rather than offering a wide-variety of channels, these services actually analyse your viewing and will recommend shows for you. It saves you flicking through an endless library. I am pretty sure these TV boxes are not able to do that. Oh, and you don’t need a TV license either.

TV’s don’t just have channels anymore, they have apps. You can even browse the web on your TV. On my TV remote, there are actually buttons for Netflix and Amazon Prime to take you straight to the apps. To me, this indicates that one of these is the first place a viewer would go. It is certainly the first place I go. It tells me they expect you to stream your TV shows and not plug in a box.

It’s hard to see how this isn’t the death of TV boxes. It could be a critical blow for the likes of Sky. Even though they have a deal with Netflix, will it be enough to save their platform?

What even is ‘Telly’ now?

Creatives Should Ask, “What Would Jobs Do?”

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Steve Jobs – A true artist of the product. The man who changed the world because, not only did he have the imagination for change, he sold it too.

We predominantly know Jobs as the Co-Founder of Apple. He was the face of the brand. He also funded Pixar, allowing the animation company to become a highlight of our childhoods. “Toy Story” was the first-ever computer animated feature film. For some that’s old news, for some it’s new! Jobs was a huge part of that. It was his vision, hence why he funded it. He was even the Executive Producer (Pixar Wikipedia, 2019).

But it was his work at Apple which really implemented his status as one of the great geniuses the world has ever seen.

Modern Day Genius

I recently wrote an article about Elon Musk (which you can read here) stating how we was also a genius of the modern day. Musk has changed the landscape of survival. But in a world which is built of various social beliefs, industries and a million-and-one different lifestyles, Steve Jobs has not only caused a greater impact, he’s shaped the entire future of how we function.

Steve Jobs didn’t care about the money. He wanted to change the world. And I think it’s pretty obvious to say that if you change the world, there will probably be a handsome cheque being written to you at the end of it. The idea was what Jobs thrived off. Not only what it could bring, but how it could grow and become influential.

He Didn’t Sell Products; He Evolved Our Lifestyles

I mentioned “Toy Story”, but as much as that influenced and evolved the film industry, it didn’t change our lives. But the iPhone, well, that changed everything.

Our smartphones are more than phones. We rely on them. They’re our phones, our libraries, our galleries, our games, our music, our wallets, our news, our maps, our browsers, our emails, our notes, our TV, our jokes, our interaction with the greater world and, for some, our careers.

I predict, one day, that we will no longer need actual wallets or car keys or whatever you carry in your pockets on a day-to-day basis because EVERYTHING will be on your device. They won’t even be called smartphones, they’ll be called our “ePockets” or something.

Jobs did that. He changed the world. He launched the iPhone. He wasn’t the first to come up with a touchscreen phone. But he made the touchscreen aspect unimportant. They were the trend, yet he decided to not even focus on that. ‘Yeah it’s touchscreen, but did you know it’s not just a phone?’ is essentially what he said. That was a huge surprise to everyone! No-one expected that. No-one at all.

There’s been many inventions over the course of recent time which never took off. Microsoft developed tablets way before Apple came up with the iPad, but it never took off. There’s a reason for that. It was just another Microsoft product to be sold. The marketing wasn’t so great, or maybe we just weren’t ready for it. So how did the iPhone become so successful? Steve Jobs didn’t sell the product, he sold the vision. People saw this launch and instantly started to think ‘can you imagine how good this will be in 10 years?’

I still remember the launch. Steve Jobs genuinely blew my mind with how he delivered it. He knew it was a game changer and you can hear that in the reaction of the crowd when he said, “Are you getting it? These are not three separate devices, this is one device…”

“Wait… one device?????”, said everyone.

It still gives me Goosebumps. Legendary.

Watch the iconic launch here:

It’s Not the Same Anymore

Apple’s vision was Steve Job’s vision. I mean, it kind of still is but it seems different. Jobs thought outside the box. He never thought of what the consumer wanted, he thought along the lines of ‘this is new, and people will love it’. His ideas and concepts were not originated from trends in the industry or keep up to pace with competitors; it was his vision of how he wanted everyone to live.

But now, their focus seems to be on the current rather than the future. They’re improving what’s already out there, just like their competitors are doing. There’s no distinction any more apart from their unique house-style. In fact, all Tim Cook does is use Apple’s highly perceived brand image and use it to drive for a bigger profit margin. Whatever Apple sell, people will buy because they assume that Apple are ahead of the game and still changing the future due to the work of Steve Jobs. But that’s not the case anymore. Their competitors have caught up and Apple are, debatably, no longer the most forward-thinking technology company. For example, I see why AirPods exist (wireless earphones were always going to happen, it’s no biggie), but why on Earth do they cost nearly £200? I can get a decent pair of wired earphones from HMV for about £20 and probably cheaper online. Just because they’re wireless does not mean they should cost 10x more! Again, it’s the brand image built by Jobs which has caused consumers to constantly be in awe of everything Apple put out there.

Like I said, with Jobs gone, Apple have lost that out of the box innovation which they were built on.

R.I.P Steve Jobs

His work changed the world. He’s an absolute icon in many industries. There’s no denying that he was one of a kind. He accelerated societal development and changed how everyone lives within a decade. Since the launch of the iPhone in 2007, our devices around the house (and beyond) have become essential, problematic and debated. We are yet to learn how to efficiently cope with this drastic change, but there’s no denying we are heading in the right direction. Jobs’ vision is only directing us the right way. It’s crazy to say that how we live should adapt to his vision rather than it being the other way round. That is unheard of.

Every creative agency and creative mind in the world should have some sort of tribute for Steve Jobs in their offices and/or rooms. He’s an inspiration to the creative mind. To all the creatives out there, when you’re stuck in a rut and are struggling to get that ‘light bulb moment’, just ask yourself the question: ‘What would Jobs do?’

R.I.P Steve Jobs.

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