“I predict in the next decade or two any differentiation between these platforms will fall away. Is thirteen hours watched as one cinematic whole really any different than a film?”
Stunningly ringing the death knell of traditional television, Kevin Spacey used the words quoted above while presenting the James MacTaggart Memorial Lecture at the Edinburgh Television Festival on Thursday, August 22, 2013. Actor, writer, and director Spacey has recently seen great success starring in the Netflix-only series House of Cards. Spacey’s speech, clearly influenced by the accomplishments of the show, challenged the audience to rethink traditional media labels.
The trend Kevin Spacey speaks about isn’t new, a line can be drawn between the type of media consumption described and Apple Inc.’s fortunes made in the last decade. Netflix, having developed applications for its service on all major portable electronic platforms, is uniquely positioned to change the way we view moving pictures in much the same style that the iPod released music and video from the radio and television. What some call second-screen viewing is starting to look like all-screen viewing.
Correlations can also be made between what Spacey stated, director Amanda Bluglass’ thoughts on YouTube, and ideas presented by a moderated panel on film that included Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. It is clear now that media is changing, media production has come to the masses, and we all want something good to watch.
“…for kids growing up now there’s no difference [between] watching Avatar on an iPad, or watching YouTube on a TV, or watching Game of Thrones on their computer. It’s all content, it’s just story.”
Here is the keynote in its entirety: