Future of Entertainment

Pay-per-laugh and tweet from your seat

Creativity keeps the entertainment industry thriving, but recent digital innovations are taking it to another experiential dimension. Charlotte Lytton writes for CNN how future tech is transforming the entertainment business in its all forms.

She reveals how an intergalactic adventure movie, Interstellar, with virtual reality headset, paired with a zero gravity chair and headphones to give users an interactive look into the Interstellar’s Endurance spacecraft. There are new areas to explore at every angle and already there are talks about theatres embracing the digital revolution with tweet seats.

Not to be left behind in embracing technology, Barcelona’s Teatreneu partnered with advertising agency Cyranos McCann to help customers get their money’s worth – by building facial-recognition tablets into seats that can register their laughs. “We decided to measure laughs and build a fair business model in which people would only pay for their enjoyment of the show,” says Oriol Bombí, the agency’s founder. The move saw Teatreneu’s average ticket price increase by €6 (the cost was capped at €18), and a 35% rise in customers for each show.

Music was perhaps the first to be revolutionised by digital technologies in the 90’s as Napster enabled mass distribution. Andrew Drubber, Director, Music Tech fest, explains that while artists will make art and consumers will consume it – that dynamic has become far more interesting and complex than ever before. Music Tech Fest brings together a global community of hackers, artists, record companies, academic researchers, inventors, publishers, developers, composers, and, of course technology companies. Together, we are the music industry ecosystem… and it all comes together as a piece of performance art. We’re seeing rapid technological innovation in all aspects of music: composition, performance, recording, distribution, media, promotion, collaboration, participation – even in the sheet music you take home to play on the piano.

Our perspective

Once again, things have dramatically changed in the entertainment industry – it’s far more than being a great musician, director, performer and technology has come to play a ‘game-changing’ role. Let’s take the case of skills required for musicians in the future and explore it in depth. All the comments in this discussion is almost equally valid for all creative art pursuits – music, art, film, theatre, gigs, design, fashion, etc.

There would a lot more ‘middle-class musicians’. This is good news as artists don’t require record companies to showcase their talent. They can now survive well, making a decent living out of their work. But every artist who gets launched may not be expected to make too much money as in the branded/label days. Not having these record labels to market their work, the artists need to learn about marketing themselves. Most artists are only concentrating on their core skill, but they need to realise the secret sauce to success lies in equipping themselves with marketing, distribution and collaborating skills. In the world of thousands of artists vying for attention, their talent can be submerged in a deluge of content offered by others.

Besides, creating new music nowadays is rarely accompanied without a video. Having an appealing video to match your music is equally essential and could determine the success or failure of your work. Therefore, artists need to hone their skills in their non-core areas as well or learn to collaborate with other artists from similar or different domains to make it a win-win situation.

Gazing through the crystal ball

  1. Innovation and technology are big players in music/art. Explore and master technology around every aspect of music/art. The barrier between ‘real music/art’ and the virtual music/art due to technology is fast blurring.
  2. Fusions of all sorts will get deeper and broader. A formal training in music/art will help most in fusion. Despite technology, learn music/art the hard way too.
  3. Learn the local/regional/national classical music/art to bring distinctive flavours to your creations.
  4. Extensively use technology for marketing self and your body of work.
  5. Use technology to take your body of work to wherever people are interested in.

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