Time and space shifing – or it’s not about the iPad
When it comes to media consumption, my kids don’t understand time and space the way I do. For them, a program is on when they turn it on. The idea of being in a certain place at a certain time to watch their favorite programs seems a little ridiculous to them. Especially when I tell them Dragon Tales isn’t on and then have the gall to ask if there’s something else would they like to watch.
Since the day they became aware of Dora and company, they’ve had DVDs, Tivo, Video iPods, iPhones, on demand programs, and Web video available for them to watch whenever mom and dad agree it’s OK. They also don’t really understand why someone would watch something they couldn’t pause when they needed to get up for a bathroom break.
Because of this, they’re growing up pretty device neutral. They don’t think of media in the sense that music comes from a radio, TV shows are best watched on the television, and the best news reporting is found in a newspaper. To them it’s as natural to watch a program on an iPod in an airplane as it is to listen to music on a living room hi-fi – and there is no best device, only what’s available in the time and space that they happen to be in.
These new “media” (devices and technologies) have created the ability to transport content consumption anywhere. Look around in public and you’ll and see the people transfixed on their little devices connected to the internet everywhere at anytime. It’s not just my daughters, but average business people with the aid of their smart phones have become time and space shifters.
There’s been a lot of hub bub about the changes coming from the iPad. I think we’ve already been living this change for awhile. People are becoming device neutral and more concerned with the stream of content and having accesses to that stream on whatever device they can use at the time. Take look around a Starbucks, a subway car, or an airport and you’re bound to see people accessing their favorite content on whatever device they have that’s connected.
This has made us marketers and producers of content upset but content users very happy. It’s not the users fault that we haven’t figured out how to charge for something that’s no longer contained by time or space (remember being asked to tune in on the same time next week).
As marketers and content providers, we need to recognize that it’s that stream of information that’s important and not the device.