As Technology Advances, Consumers’ Role is Key

Jun 20, 2005  •  Post A Comment

By Ira Teinowitz

Advertising Age

The pace of change occurring in household technology is far faster than many understand, according to presentations at the American Advertising Federation conference, held earlier this month in Nashville, Tenn. The conference, which brought 1,200 attendees to the Gaylord Opryland Resort, offered a glimpse of how rapidly new technologies are fueling the shift in media consumption patterns and possibilities.

Speakers predicted the evolution of household communication devices will rocket ahead in the next two years and that these developments-including wireless networking, 3-D movies, TV, DVD, podcasts and other on-demand media-are changing the fundamentals of the media and marketing industries.

“Consumers are now leading the discussion,” said Mike Kelly, president of AOL Media Networks. “Three or four years ago, convergence was a joke. Now it’s really happening.”

Broadband is not only increasing the time consumers spend on the Internet but also dramatically altering how they are using it, said Cammie Dunaway, chief marketing officer for Yahoo! “They go from communicating to socializing,” she said, adding that high-speed access also affects how consumers use media. “They go from getting sound bites to really getting the whole story.”

In the film world, technology that allows theaters to replace film projectors with digital ones is reaching local neighborhoods and bringing the bonus of 3-D movies; a number of major movies will be made in 3-D, said Steve Schklair, managing partner of 3-D digital production services provider Cobalt Entertainment.

Bob Farnsworth, president and founder of Hummingbird Productions, a major music house for commercial production, said 3-D sound is already possible from existing TVs using special techniques that make the stereo sound seem as if it’s coming from all over a room.