Analyst Predicts Declines in TV Viewing, Movie Attendance in 2012

Fascinating analysis. Four key points have been cherry-picked by me, but you’ll want to read the whole thing.


1. “We believe 2012 will be a watershed year for the media industry and serve as a historic inflection point for traditional TV consumption,” Greenfield wrote. “While TV viewing has consistently risen as choice (channels) and access (VCR/DVR) expanded, we believe consumers have reached a breaking point. There are simply not enough hours in the day for online activities to be purely incremental.” …

2. Movie-going is also “less and less compelling,” meaning that attendance will remain in secular decline, he argued. “3D, IMAX, XD – are they really worth the extra money? Maybe for a one or two movies a year, but Hollywood is increasingly looking to premium exhibition formats as the solution to falling top-line revenues (as home entertainment profits drop),” he wrote. “Unfortunately, bad movies at premium prices are still bad movies and end up alienating your best customers.” …

3. Digital video platforms could benefit though as Greenfield predicts that Google’s YouTube will increases its video spending 10-fold and enable some subscription offerings, while will launch a stand-alone subscription video streaming service, and Facebook will become a video platform. …

4. Netflix will redefine its image with original programming successes. “We expect Netflix’s push into original programming to be a positive surprise for investors in 2012 and expect it to create a new form of “buzz” around the Netflix brand that has been missing since the serious missteps of the third quarter 2011,” Greenfield predicted.

Numbers 3 and 4 are, I think, going to change everything. Not just the way we watch television and program our own viewing experiences, but with digital delivery removing the distribution bottleneck currently controlled by a very few, this will also be good for the culture as a whole.

Because those very few currently in control of distribution are hostile to the beliefs held by over 60% of the country, that has been the number one discouragement for those eager to to produce a different type of content.

No more.

This won’t happen tomorrow, but it will eventually.

With “Lilyhammer,” Netflix completely went around every known distribution method that’s been in place for almost a century. It is the camel nose in the tent.

We’re entering the second act of a slow-motion revolution that only started with the Internet. And the winners will be We The Customers.

The guardians of our culture matter less today than they did yesterday and will matter less tomorrow than they do today.