A study by Nokia predicts that up to a quarter of the entertainment consumed by people in five years time will have been created, edited and shared within their peer circle rather than coming out of traditional media groups. This phenomenon, dubbed ‘Circular Entertainment’, has been identified by Nokia as a result of a global study into the future of entertainment.

The study, entitled ‘A Glimpse of the Next Episode’, carried out by The Future Laboratory, interviewed trend-setting consumers from 17 countries about their digital behaviors and lifestyles signposting emerging entertainment trends.

“From our research we predict that up to a quarter of the entertainment being consumed in five years will be what we call ‘Circular’. The trends we are seeing show us that people will have a genuine desire not only to create and share their own content, but also to remix it, mash it up and pass it on within their peer groups – a form of collaborative social media,” said Mark Selby, Vice President, Multimedia, Nokia.

Selby continues, “We think it will work something like this; someone shares video footage they shot on their mobile device from a night out with a friend, that friend takes that footage and adds an MP3 file – the soundtrack of the evening – then passes it to another friend. That friend edits the footage by adding some photographs and passes it on to another friend and so on. The content keeps circulating between friends, who may or may not be geographically close, and becomes part of the group’s entertainment.”

Tom Savigar, Trends Director at The Future Laboratory added, “Consumers are increasingly demanding their entertainment be truly immersive, engaging and collaborative. Whereas once the act of watching, reading and hearing entertainment was passive, consumers now and in the future will be active and unrestrained by the ubiquitous nature of circular entertainment. Key to this evolution is consumers’ basic human desire to compare and contrast, create and communicate. We believe the next episode promises to deliver the democracy politics can only dream of.”

Of the 9,000 consumers they surveyed:

– 23% buy movies in digital format
– 35% buy music on MP3 files
– 25% buy music on mobile devices
– 39% watch TV on the internet
– 23% watch TV on mobile devices
– 46% regularly use IM, 37% on a mobile device
– 29% regularly blog
– 28% regularly access social networking sites
– 22% connect using technologies such as Skype
– 17% take part in Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games
– 17% upload to the internet from a mobile device

As part of the research they identified four key driving trends; Immersive Living; Geek Culture; G Tech and Localism. As these trends become more mainstream, they predict that they will have a collaborative, creative effect on the way people consume entertainment and, we predict, will lead to the Circular Entertainment phenomenon.

Immersive Living
Immersive Living is the rise of lifestyles which blur the reality of being on and offline. Entertainment will no longer be segmented; people can access and create it wherever they are.

Geek Culture
This triumph marks a shift as consumers become hungry for more sophisticated entertainment. Geek Culture rises, consumers will want to be recognized and rewarded – the boundaries between being commercial and creative will blur.

G Tech
G Tech is an existing social force in Asia that will change the way entertainment will look. Forget pink and sparkly, it is about the feminization of technology that is currently underway. Entertainment will be more collaborative, democratic, emotional and customized – all of which are ‘female’ traits.

The report uncovered a locally-minded sprit emerging in entertainment consumption and Localism will become a key theme of future entertainment. Consumers will take pride in seeking out the local and home-grown.

Now all that is great, but presents significant challenges to the notion of intellectual property, copyright and ownership – all subjects that have been discussed here before. It is one thing for young hipsters to want to create and mash-up their own material, and an entirely different matter to do so with other peoples property. How this will all shake out remains to be seen.

While I generally agree with the trends they are highlighting, I still wonder how this all plays into the business of music and the opportunities for careers in the music industry if everything is free and can be readily absorbed, modified and regurgitated without any concern for commerce or rights. This would be great for device makers like Nokia and others, but not great for the producers of art seeking to make a living off of that activity.

We have already seen how Apple has benefited dramatically at the expense of the artists, writers and record lables – and shifted the income stream out of their hands and into Apple’s own. Powerful motivation for Nokia to follow suit with an even bigger world view of media and their place in it.

Watch the Nokia Videos:


Future of Mobile

Future of Wikis

Future of Music

Future of Blogging

We Welcome Your Comments


7 replies
  1. brent says:

    This information gives a lot of food for thought. The integration of music, arts, and mobile content for circular entertainment has massive implications for copyright infringement.

    IF the content developers are the consumers then they need to be educated a little on copyright law. Most people don’t want to steal.

    It will be up to the owners of copyrighted works to lobby the distributer. All parties should come together now and begin to craft a solution that allows their work to be exploited while demanding a revenue share with the content distributer. Easier said then done, but I’m hard pressed to find another solution. One thing is sure… content is king and the distributors know the value of it. They can be encouraged to pay. I hope 😉

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