Internet Trends That Matter to Filmmakers: A Few Ideas Inspired by the December 2012 Internet Trends Report From Mary Meeker

On Dec. 3rd 2012, in response to the rapidly evolving online world, Mary Meeker of Kleiner Perkins updated her Internet Trends report.

Notable nuggets of information that Mary Meeker shared in Dec. 2012 that might be of interest to 21st century filmmakers?

There are now approximately 2.4 billion internet users around the world - with the most rapid growth happening in China (growing 10% in 2012 to reach 40% penetration) and India (growing 26% in the year to reach 11% penetration). Compare the growth of connected users in China and India to the US - where the market is more mature (78% penetration) and internet user-growth has apparently almost topped-out (just 3% growth in the year).

And we are still just at the beginning of a huge period of growth in smartphones around the world - signalling a paradigm-shattering shift to mobile that will transform how films are delivered and viewed.

The coming explosion in mobile use (especially in the developing world) will have massive implications for filmmakers. For example, users are already spending huge amounts of time on mobile devices in the US - but the ad spending on mobile does not yet reflect that opportunity. Mary Meeker sees $20 billion in potential ad revenue for the US alone (see her slide number 19 of 88). Take into consideration the staggering numbers of people in India and China who will soon become connected through mobile devices and consider how much advertising revenue will be unlocked there that might support filmmaking. What will the numbers look like in 10 years for short online films sponsored by brands in territories like China and India?

How else might the new mobile devices change filmmaking?

Touch, voice and gesture (swipe) are changing how users interact with their devices. But most New World filmmakers have yet to think about how they might incorporate these "natural user interface" behaviors into their storytelling (although some filmmakers, like Greg Pak, with a free iPad app version of his graphic novel Vision Machine, have begun experimenting). What great creative storytelling opportunities will be explored in the next decade by filmmakers who can make motion picture stories that users can interact with using touch, voice and gesture?

What other trends will transform motion pictures in the 21st century?

Mobile networks are becoming hugely important for motion pictures. For example, since the 4th quarter of 2010, shipments of tablets and smartphones have exceeded the number of PCs shipped and the Android operating system is increasing market share at an astounding rate - carving a huge chunk of business away from Microsoft. What does this mean for filmmakers? Users increasingly carry mobile devices that can record and play HD video, making new motion picture paradigms possible. To service this new mobile platform, online motion picture channels are set to become a huge segment of the motion picture business. In the next few years, films that are optimized for mobile and that are shown on channels that are frequently updated (and that can respond to users and even include user-generated content?) will offer filmmakers opportunities that were unimaginable just a few years ago.

The world of motion pictures is changing - as the world becomes increasingly connected to the internet via mobile devices. The users of motion pictures are not the "audience" of the last century. In the 21st century the users of motion pictures are adopting mobile devices to get what they want, when and where they want it. Users are increasingly moving between devices to accomplish their goals. And the amount of data (about the users, their preferences and the world of available motion pictures) is changing how users will discover and relate to motion pictures. For example, instead of finding a motion picture, in the New World (using big data and algorithms) the motion picture may find you.

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