Wednesday, December 05, 2007

25% of all entertainment made by you within five years

Nokia has just issued a report on the trend towards user participation in entertainment and away from traditional media groups. It's a sign-post that points very firmly in the direction of a world in which we create what we want, rather than have it created and packaged for us.

I'm going to replicate it in full below. I have a few thoughts on it - and I'll add them in bold as we go.

Up to a quarter of the entertainment consumed by people in five years time will have been created, edited and shared within their peer circle rather than coming out of traditional media groups. This phenomenon, dubbed 'Circular Entertainment', has been identified by
Nokia as a result of a global study into the future of entertainment.

This is not to say that traditional media groups don't have a role to play in this - simply that the content they themselves create and broadcast will have a reduced role. The new role is different.

The study, entitled 'A Glimpse of the Next Episode', carried out by The Future Laboratory, interviewed trend-setting consumers from 17 countries about their digital behaviors and lifestyles signposting emerging entertainment trends.

Combining views from industry leading figures with Nokia's own research from its 900 million consumers around the world, Nokia has constructed a global picture of what it believes entertainment will look like over the next five years.

"From our research we predict that up to a quarter of the entertainment being consumed in five years will be what we call 'Circular'. (others might call edge-in, rather than centre-out) The trends we are seeing show us that people will have a genuine desire not only to create and share their own content, but also to remix it, mash it up and pass it on within their peer groups - a form of collaborative social media," said Mark Selby, Vice President, Multimedia, Nokia.

Selby continues, "We think it will work something like this; someone shares video footage they shot on their mobile device from a night out with a friend, that friend takes that footage and adds an MP3 file - the soundtrack of the evening - then passes it to another
friend. That friend edits the footage by adding some photographs and passes it on to another friend and so on. The content keeps circulating between friends, who may or may not be geographically close, and becomes part of the group's entertainment."

Participation culture. Relevance trumps quality - at least for this 25%

Tom Savigar, Trends Director at The Future Laboratory added, "Consumers are increasingly demanding their entertainment be truly immersive, engaging and collaborative. Whereas once the act of watching, reading and hearing entertainment was passive, consumers now
and in the future will be active and unrestrained by the ubiquitous nature of circular entertainment. Key to this evolution is consumers' basic human desire to compare and contrast, create and communicate. We believe the next episode promises to deliver the democracy politics can only dream of."

Of the 9,000 consumers we surveyed:
- 23% buy movies in digital format
- 35% buy music on MP3 files
- 25% buy music on mobile devices
- 39% watch TV on the internet
- 23% watch TV on mobile devices
- 46% regularly use IM, 37% on a mobile device
- 29% regularly blog
- 28% regularly access social networking sites
- 22% connect using technologies such as Skype
- 17% take part in Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games
- 17% upload to the internet from a mobile device

As part of the research we have identified four key driving trends; Immersive Living; Geek Culture; G Tech and Localism.

These trends are currently sitting on the edge, but as these trends become more mainstream, they will have a collaborative, creative effect on the way people consume entertainment and, we predict, will lead to the Circular Entertainment phenomenon.

Immersive Living

Immersive Living is the rise of lifestyles which blur the reality
of being on and offline. Entertainment will no longer be segmented;
people can access and create it wherever they are.

Geek Culture

This triumph marks a shift as consumers become hungry for more
sophisticated entertainment. Geek Culture rises, consumers will want to
be recognized and rewarded - the boundaries between being commercial
and creative will blur.

G Tech

G Tech is an existing social force in Asia that will change the way
entertainment will look. Forget pink and sparkly, it is about the
feminization of technology that is currently underway. Entertainment
will be more collaborative, democratic, emotional and customized - all
of which are 'female' traits.


The report uncovered a locally-minded sprit emerging in
entertainment consumption and Localism will become a key theme of
future entertainment. Consumers will take pride in seeking out the
local and home-grown.

The extensive research identifies the trends, along with the technologies, that will be pivotal in the next episode of entertainment. In conclusion, the results of the survey lead Nokia to
believe in the next episode; entertainment will be circular.

Notes to Editors

The research took place between July and September 2007. 9,000
consumers, who are active users of technology and own a mobile device
[not restricted to Nokia] aged 16-35 were questioned. In addition 17
correspondents from the Future Laboratory's LifeSigns Network were
interviewed. LifeSigns network is a community of 3,000 'superconsumers'
thinkers, doers, creators and authors of culture. Interviews were also
conducted with 10 leaders in different areas of entertainment who
provided us with in-depth proven insights into this subject and what
lies ahead. Experts were chosen from the areas of radio, internet,
gaming, device developments, mobile telecoms, music, computing,
legislation and marketing.

About Nokia

I think Nokia has recognised trends we've been tracking on this blog and elsewhere for some long time. Five years isn't very long. Is 25% a big ask? I have the feeling it ain't. I have this feeling because, even among Nokia's own figures, there are indicators that we're already there.

For significant portions of the population 25% and more of their entertainment is already c0-created. These fast growing markets are already ripping up rule books. Think youtube, think ohmynews, think spreadshirt, think mynumo.

What Nokia is saying is that across the entire multi-billion global industry of music, film, radio, computer gaming, publishing etc, 25% of the value will be created by people who used to be regarded as consuming it. 25% of the total value. I don't know what that adds up to in dollars but I do know it's one very big number - and one that can't be ignored.

The big questions for 'traditional' media companies are:
  • Will this be substitutional?
  • If it isn't - how can we share in the value creation?
It can sometimes take 20 years for an idea to become all pervasive - especially if there's technology involved.

Which suggests this figure will not stop at 25% in five years. 50% in 10 years? 95% in 20 years? I always expect the future, faster. Halve those timescales.

These questions need answers. My stab here.


  1. That'll be that Long Tail in action...

    I think the interesting part of this is not how the technology enables content creation any more, but investigating whether it's the only barrier.

    I suspect content creation won't reach 50%, in under 10 years, because of other influences, such as confidence, desire etc...but I could well be wrong...I'm thinking of examples such as forums where countless people lurk without posting, or that far more people watch Youtube than create content.

  2. Loads more people share what they see on youtube, or posts they find on forums. Each time they do this they are part of the distribution, part of the value creation, part of the mashing up of ideas. It's not just about creating content, it's about what communities do with it, I think!

  3. I am always surprised at what sells the best on MyNuMo (thanks for the mention by the way). It's not the 'mainstream' content, it's niche stuff like "Holy Hip Hop" or even "Ringtones of the Balkans." It is content centered on communities of like interests. Much of it gets sold from social networks, like MySpace, where users post the previews of the content they have uploaded to MyNuMo.

    All very interesting. We've been at this for close to two years and it has taken this look for the 'experts' to get this.

    Thank you once again.

    William Volk
    CEO, MyNuMo


The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?