Video entertainment in 2030 | McKinsey

From ‘bunny ear’ antennas to broadband, and from VHS to virtual reality, video entertainment is changing rapidly. In ten years, what we look at — as well as how and where we look — could be dramatically different. Four McKinsey experts envision the future.

Video entertainment will be immersive

Jonathan Dunn: There will be sensory experiences that will change the way people experience or create a story that will feel very different from the theater experience today.

Jacomo Corbo: Haptics and augmented reality allow people to experience the same things and occupy the same space. When there is an explosion in the video, everyone will feel the force of the explosion or even the wind on their faces.

Kristi Tausk: In a horror movie at this point, you get scared by someone jumping out of the screen. But what if in the future, when you watch that movie, you can really feel that person behind you? you’re in it; you sit in the movie with the actors and experience it more with them than we really do today.

Video entertainment is being gamified

Jonathan Dunn: It turns out that video games or interactive entertainment as a format seems to be the general direction of most stories.

Jacomo Corbo: I think we’re seeing more and more of a blurring of the lines between the things we watch and the things we play. You may even be able to intervene in a story in certain, very specific ways.

Tom Svrcek: You could imagine going to a movie theater and having a game console, where you stand in front of a piece of filmed entertainment for ten minutes, but then it turns into a gaming experience. And it’s not just in that theater; it’s spread across 20 different connected theaters. And then you can continue that game with that community when you get home to your game console or every now and then for the next few months.

Video entertainment gets personalized

Jacomo Corbo: Think of in-game difficulty levels that are automatically personalized and matched to your playing patterns in a way that encourages engagement, but ultimately makes the experience more engaging and compelling for you.

Kristi Tausk: Every time I open a streaming platform or turn on my TV, it can read me: What Mood Am I In? What time is it? And what kind of content would I like to watch at that moment?

Tom Svrcek: By 2030, you won’t have to weed through hundreds of thousands of pieces of content. An algorithm or AI is going to do the heavy lifting to the point where the five things it recommends to you are very, very resonating.

What companies should do today?

Jacomo Corbo: Industry CEOs really need to think about where they place new bets. What are the all-new gaming experiences you want to support? Really try to stitch together different technologies to provide a very different gaming experience.

Kristi Tausk: To become successful, video entertainment companies must think like a technology company. Data is going to be critical — and collecting that data will power all of this future AI.

Tom Svrcek: AI will never write scripts. It will never produce its own movies. But I’m a fan of understanding audience preferences and using that to drive the creative process – which I believe will always, always be in people’s hands.

Jonathan Dunn: Most of the storytellers we’ll be talking about in the 2030 period will come from different geographic backgrounds, different economic backgrounds, and different demographic backgrounds. The decision makers themselves must be diverse. You need to change the decision makers in your organization. Second, you must believe that technology and analysis can help you identify the narrators that the current system does not identify. Third, you must be comfortable — and even lead — with an accelerated pace of change. Those three things are what we’re telling industry leaders to do if they want to be a part of what’s going to happen.

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