Not only are they a form of media in the way that consumer software and games have always been considered media (they compete with TV, books, and music for consumers’ time and attention). But increasingly, they are also subsuming other forms of media.
So when will traditional media get it? Do any of the TV networks want to have anything to do with Facebook right now? I mean something innovative, not the token fan page that no ones care about. Do they want to let you watch their shows on your phone?
They don’t care about doing anything new on the social/mobile platforms, they only want you to be able to get their product on a TV on the prescribed time. For now they’re still winning at that game. But it won’t last. Like the magazine publishers and newspapers found out, the advertisers are the key, and they moved their dollars to better targeted and measurable ads on AdWords and Facebook. The TV advertisers are on their way out too.
But what about Netflix? They’ve been held back because of this stupid Video Privacy Protection Act, but that’s now been revised. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings says Netflix is coming to Facebook. Watching, reviewing, rating, debating, and discussing movies are all social things that people want to do on Facebook. They enhance the experience.
Netflix is in the position to build the movie “app”, to build the platform that movies will be consumed and interacted with. This used to be the humble, disconnected DVD. I don’t think the studios have understood that yet, or they’re just afraid. Not only is the distribution channel completely changed, but so has what a movie/tv-series can actually be.
I’m expecting big things from Netflix in 2012.