This week, Netflix's Chief Product Officer Neil Hunt gave a presentation in New York where he outlined several predictions for how we'll be consuming the small screen a decade from now.
Some were what you'd expect. Some were more exciting. Others were downright alarming.
Here are six that caught our eye.
1 | Television Is Going To Know You Better Than Your Family
According to Hunt, Netflix's personalisation technology will become so refined that the recommendation engine will be able to identify a few films or programmes that you'll be in the mood for at any given time. By aggregating information on your tastes and habits they'll be able to get rid of the grid of viewing options to create what is essentially a channel that is fully unique to you – and meaning a future where traditional stations are eliminated.
2 | You'll Never Have To Watch An Advert Again
“The ad-free model seems to be very popular with consumers,” Hunt says, acutely observing what we've known to be true since the dawn of the box. The key, he notes, is that platforms like Netflix mean that going ad-less is achievable financially. This means that the entire economic model of television could shift, with subscription fees fuelling the business model rather than big bucks prime commericial slots. This will also gives shows with smaller audiences a better chance to thrive.
4 | One Hour A Week Shows Will Die
Hunt also predicted a change in programme formats. The need for a one hour or thirty minute show that depend on 'next time' clips to hook viewers in for the following week might become unneccessary. On Netflix, shows can be as long or as short as a director wants.
5 | Internet Television Could Broadcast Live Sport
In response to a question about whether Netflix could branch into live broadcasting, Hunt replied "stay tuned," – noting that sports broadcasting rights work on a highest bidder model. This means it's not an arena they can compete in right now, but, with their rapid growth, it could be a future possibility.
6 | Everyone Will Own A Smart TV
2014 saw the sale of 100 million internet connected televisions, and by the time 2025 comes round, Hunt believes we'll all have one in the living room. The implication of this will be the race for companies to get to the top of the smart TV heap – will it be tech monsters like Google or Apple, manufacturers like Sony, or internet TV providers themselves?