One world, billions of ways

Where in the world could you go to watch six sporting events on one TV screen, while listening to fellow fans of your favorite team cheer it on, and placing bets on those same events? All in the comfort of your own home.

Try England. That’s where BSkyB is forging ahead with innovative personalized, interactive television.

Nothing like it has been seen in America yet. But it’s coming. BSkyB is owned by News Corp. And News Corp. owns DirecTV.

This is one more way that our digital world is evolving toward greater user control over the information and entertainment we allow into our lives. The Web gives us control. Apple’s iPods gives us control. Satallite radio gives us more choices. People, especially in Europe and Japan, see their wireless phones as expressions of individuality and expect them to be customizable in every feature.

Not only is mass marketing is dead, mass living is dead. In technology, each man is an island.

And my question is — are media companies ready for the transition.

We’re moving into an on-demand, my-wants-my-way world. We’re already past the point where most consumers might wonder what it might be like to float free of the masses. Most people, especially young people, just expect it. If you can’t give it to them, you’re dead.

In a world where you can customize M&Ms, there is no longer just one way to deliver news, or one type of news to feed the public. We in the MSM are already falling behind.

The media world is really going to be rocked when TVIP arrives. TVIP will, I predict, make news and entertainment even more diversified and customized. People will download a wide variety of TV shows and showettes that reflect individual tastes and interests in ways Ed Sullivan never could have imagined. And if you think bloggers have shaken up the media world, wait until the pajama army starts producing television shows.

To some extent, it’s hard to imagine what the world will be like in just a couple of years when mass entertainment and mass news has been completely killed off.

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