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The Streaming Future: Inside an On-Demand Industry

To watch moving pictures, we used to congregate around one or two screens – found almost exclusively in movie theaters and television consoles. Content was transmitted primarily via broadcast signal or projection lamp. But no more: Today, we download entertainment daily to a vast array of screens, streaming content on demand from an endless series of web servers. Some are controlled by television networks, others by rental companies and crowd-sourced websites. The playing field has been democratized and decentralized. In the process, these evolving viewer behaviors have shattered the preconceived assumptions of both content providers and content creators, inspiring a brave new era of entertainment that's being envisioned, marketed and consumed in unprecedented fashion. This discussion will address the how instant viewing will continue to redefine the shape, distribution and economics of entertainment.


  1. What new freedoms does instant viewing provide content creators? How are television shows, movies and shorts poised to break the conventional models?
  2. Forget movie tickets, DVD ticket prices, commercial breaks and royalties: What new revenue streams are poised to define instant viewing?
  3. How will consumption habits evolve as instant viewing becomes more prevalent, and what does that mean for the future of broadcasting (and narrowcasting)?
  4. Let's take the long view: What advancements will shape entertainment a decade down the road? Will it be hardware advancements that turn more viewers into streamers, or better software integration? Advancements in bandwidth or wireless technology? Where should we be watching?
  5. The 2012 summer Olympics will serve as a pivotal case study in augmenting broadcast entertainment with an array of on demand options - including live streaming, cataloged highlights, available across multiple platforms for no additional cost. We will recap what was successful/flawed/memorable about that user experience



Steven Snyder, Senior Editor, TIME

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