The Transition from the Physical Age to the Digital Age
On the home entertainment front, a uniquely interesting transition has taken place in this past almost-too-fast-moving decade. The movement is this; the viewing experience of today’s enlightened media consumer has undergone a fundamental shift as a direct result of greater access to content; content which is the engine that drives the ever-chugging whole of the Entertainment Industry machine.
In the past, with only a few analog options at their disposal, content generators were able to control the time and place of both content delivery and consumption. Today however, made possible through an unprecedented rate of innovation and change, the number of outlets and methods available to users has grown from simply one or two viewing options per user, to options that are multipliable and also consumer-defined.
The transition from the previous age, a Physical realm where content generators once set the controls, locking in content consumers to a set schedule of when and where to view content; to a Digital realm, where content consumers are in control of the “when and where” as well as newer more freeing options, has left media management companies with the task of finding effective business processes needed to keep up with this ever-changing shift toward consumer viewing independence.
Finding a solution which effectively multi-tasks one piece of media which can be duplicated and delivered across multiple delivery streams is the primary concern of a number of interested parties out there (movie studios, the music industry, and the burgeoning online portals to name a few). Through a measured process of analysis of current data and trends, these companies are positioned to take the lead in, as Martha Bejar of Microsoft has said, “business processes that support the entire digital value chain.”
An Extinction Level Event
Slow moving like a lumbering dinosaur, for over fifty years the production process existed, from start to finish, in almost purely physical terms. Even before a director cried “Action!” the journey began at the desk of some crack film or television show writer. Committed to paper with the now almost forgotten clack of a hard metal typewriter, the product was then pushed through a chain of skilled manual craftsmen until it arriving at the local movie house or appeared on your snow-filled black & white television screen.
In this Physical Age, the number of ways the product could be manipulated for a desired end-result was limited. The post-production process was meticulous and intensive; each step executed at tiered intervals one at a time where a crew would alter and edit, with only one chance to “get it right.” A specific step had to be completed before it moved on to the next.