I don't know about you but apart from reading quite a lot this year I've spent a lot of time during these lockdowns consuming TV box set after box set, along with an awful lot of movies.
To say I was disappointed that the latest instalment of the 'James Bond' franchise was delayed in Cinemas yet again, being a huge (Daniel Craig) 'Bond' fan is somewhat of an understatement.
As with most business and hospitality sectors it seems that Cinema chains everywhere are struggling to remain not only open, but also solvent, and like most entertainment sectors there is an entire commercial ecosystem built around them.
We not only purchase tickets, popcorn, chocolate, hotdogs, and buckets of fizzy soda, some of us will also choose to go to a restaurant and bar before or after watching our movie of choice - thing is today to do this as a family was already becoming over priced prior to Covid.
Today we can binge watch box sets of TV shows or movies anywhere, anytime, and on any device.
Apart from actually having the luxury of time to do this we will have selected stuff based on our collective interest, or a topic suggested by someone we know - probably via our social media feed.
The major movie production studios invest a considerable amount of money in the production of movies and TV shows - again, they also support an entire ecosystem of their own.
So when HBO recently announced they were putting several productions direct to 'streaming' ahead of going into Cinemas it logically created some degree of concern for those Cinema chains that are key to distribution, and some might say the best way to 'experience' a movie.
HBO Max will stream Matrix 4, Dune, all Warner Bros. 2021 movies same day as theaters. The new movies will be available on Max at no added cost for one month, making the release plan for Wonder Woman 1984 -- streaming on Max on Dec. 25 -- the norm for all Warner Bros. movies next year.
Despite this pandemic devastating revenues we're also exposed to all those perennial Christmas adverts which of course are designed to draw us in by telling really great stories, yet seem to miss the point for the rest of the year.
My guess is you, your friends and family will remember more about those Movies and TV shows including those 'Christmas Story' adverts than you will from the last 3 digital soundbite intrusive adverts you saw today?
And now we see a number of innovations from companies who are looking to move beyond the 'interrupt, advertise and promote' mentality that's already screwed a brands real purpose which is about building relationships.
So, are Movies and TV the next place for subtle intrusive adverts?.
No, I’m not referring to the ads that play during commercial breaks; I’m talking about the subtle brand ads that appear inside the content itself.
Called variously “product placement” or “brand integration,” these are the ads that don’t seem like ads because they exist within the entertainment that you’re watching.
Remember that brand of tablet your favorite action star used to save the world in that blockbuster you watched last weekend?
Fast forward to today's socially savvy consumer and we see the same behavioural traits exhibited by brands who want to hang onto the coattails of those so called 'influencers' with their army of (un-audited) followers.
Today, we still see brands and companies who choose to promote the latest 'white paper' on 'how to boil your kettle quicker than ever before' - does this still work today - not the kettle thingy but the 'White Paper'?.
In exchange for access they require your personal info in the form of e-mail, title, number of employees, inside leg measurement and where you went on holiday with Auntie Beryl when you were twelve.
As with the global growth in consumer behaviour adopting take up of free to use social networks around the globe combined with Gen Z arriving into the workplace is it still a viable long term business model to get people to 'pay' for that content.
What if there was a way to get audiences more involved in the content they're consuming, what if this was a fun, interactive and immersive experience and eventually lead to a shared commercial relationship?
How about telling stories - not advertising?
All of that complexity comes from a key flaw in today’s fragmented business model: The lords of content are focused on locking viewers in to their private, walled garden platforms. The short-term benefits of this to the winners are obvious. However, the long-term costs to all of us – businesses, consumers, and innovators – should also be part of the conversation.