Ten years ago Intel’s Sean Maloney made a particularly prescient prediction – that traditional TV would die.
Maloney told the Telegraph that traditional TV was doomed because user-generated content, distributed over the Internet, was going to be of higher quality than professional content. The reason for that is a new generation of consumer ICs delivering HD quality video.
“That is a profound change,” said Maloney, “user-generated content is going to become higher quality than professional content. Professional providers may sneer and say it’s not what it looks like, it’s the quality of the content, but that would be to ignore the lessons of the past few years and the emergence of the likes of YouTube.
“Over the next two years you are going to have an explosion in high quality video broadcast on the internet. The same thing that happened to print media in the 1990s with the move to the web will happen with broadcast media.
“People no longer have the patience to sit in their chairs in front of the TV and wait for it to happen. That whole way of life is going to change and it will completely unravel the traditional television model. The era of TV is drawing to an end.”
With traditional TV networks dragging their heels over HD transmissions, the availability of user-generated HD-quality video will mean, argued Maloney, that people will prefer to watch user-generated content, a la YouTube, than traditional TV programmes.
Maloney’s view was shared by Ben Elton in his 2007 novel Blind Faith. In Elton’s novel, set in the future, people only watch reality TV. The idea of drama, based on fictional characters, is dismissed as a regrettable, and laughable, weakness of past civilisations.
Unfortunately, due to Elton’s gloomy view of human nature, in his book, the vast majority of this user-generated content revolves around rumpy-pumpy.