Town criers. The people responsible for announcing official communications and news of interest to the masses. Back in the Middle Ages, these people were the ultimate source of information, and whoever has the information, holds the power. Who would have told them around 1450 that a device called the printing press, would revolutionise the world and leave them practically out of work.
Golden years for printed press, until in 1895 it suffered a tough blow when radio made its entrance. It took this media 38 years to reach 50 million users. However, it had a much shorter protagonism than printed press did, as in late 1920s, television became commercially available and, well, video killed the radio star. In only 13 years, it reached 50 million users.
It was clear that the Internet would take over TVs empire (4 years to reach 50 million users), but it wasn't until a few months ago that the how got cleared out. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, YouTube is the answer. Not only YouTube, which has conquered the young generations and stolen masses from staring at television screens till past midnight, but its new formulation, that will become fact in 2014.
Paid subscription models. Everything that was once free and is made paid for is likely to become a little unpopular, at least in the first stages. But when a company (even Google) is pressured over and over by one of the most ruthless industries (that would be Music - or in other words, Lucian Grainge and Howard Stringer, CEOs of Universal and Sony respectively), to help them stop delivering content for FREE (sacrilege!), it is not difficult to see they would end up giving in. The whole (failed) Vevo monopolising official music videos was just the start of how the music industry wanted to end up monetising all the content that users can now access for free. Thought MTV was big at the time? Think of a music-internet revolution à la Spotify. In fact, don't wait too long to see those too partnering (or more like Spotify being devoured).
Does it stop there? Heck no! It will take over every aspect from entertainment to information, to advice, to education,... Next one in line after Music to benefit from subscription models? Film industry. There is already a selection of (very sh**y) films you can watch for free. But let's think of this as the new 'renting a film to watch tonight'. Why would you pay for a 'films only' TV channel when you can pay a subscription and access all areas? Cinema, please catch up, we don't want to lose you.
All big industries will come on board eventually. My question is, why is the Fashion industry, one of the giants along Music and Film, taking so long to see this coming? Only having a quick glance at most BIG fashion brands' YouTube channels, it is blatantly clear they do not know how to connect with their audiences. Paid subscription channels for fashion brands means getting SO MUCH MORE audience to new collections and an instant profit for it! No shadow of a doubt that thousands of fashion lovers (yours truly to begin with) as well as professionals, would gladly pay for a subscription to insider information on fashion brands new moves. This model offers so many opportunities, I might make a post exclusively on how the Fashion Industry could use and benefit from it.
At the end of the day (and this is when the historical retrospective I opened with comes in handy) it is only logical that YouTube will take over television. 360º TV, that will reach audiences, meet and create needs, and hit targets like no other media has been able to before.
Follow your gut!