Interactive Movies and 3D movies - The new face of consumerism?

. Thursday, March 25, 2010

I came across this interesting article on the future of consumerism by John Gerzema, which spoke about how it is Maslow's 'Hierarchy of needs' is increasingly becoming upended. Increasingly, consumers want a personalized experience and the notion of market segmentation is becoming increasingly narrow. With the advent of social media and CRM softwares, companies are in a position to understand uniquely the needs of the customers. Firms that offer customized products or services that are tailored to individual customers (by means of an enhanced experience, selective pricing and services) are set to outperform their rivals.

In the movie industry, two trends (rather one trend and one possible trend) further demonstrate this hypothesis. The first is the onset of 3D movies. I believe that 3D movies can become a destructive force that can open up a whole new industry based that aims to satisfy this experience. More and more movies are launching their 2D and 3D versions today. While still in its nascent stages, the recent thrust in developing televisions that support 3D further accentuates that destructive force that 3D movies are expected to be, in the next few years.

Another rather interesting trend is the onset of 'interactive movies'. I came across a YouTube video for this movie called 'Last Call' by this European television channel called '13th Street' (More about 13th Street here). This movie is said to the the first 'interactive movie' ever made. The YouTube video is posted below:

Basically, the movie has in-build voice recognition technology. The theatre asks for the phone number of the audience and a member of the audience will be called and the protagonist of the movie asks the member specific questions during the movie. Based on the recommendation of the audience, the movie can have different ending.

Personally I think that while this is going to be a very expensive technology to implement, this technology can take the level of interaction that the user has with cinema to a completely new level. From a distribution channel perspective, I am not sure if an entire theatre would want to see 'one viewer' deciding the course of action for a movie. Also, this can put a lot of pressure on the viewer who is called to make the decision. However, if this experience is delivered in 'direct to home' model, can you imagine the success levels that this technology can have. Again, this can be a game changer, and revolutionize the way a movie is seen (or experienced, in this case).