One of the interesting things about viewing today’s eclipse was the realization that this was a live event. Over the span of a few hours, millions of people were looking upwards and could easily access for free a rare spectacle. It made me think about how we consume media today. Over the course of the past two decades, appointment television has slowly ended. Netflix, YouTube, and torrenting, among other streaming services, have made the necessity to tune in at a specific time redundant.
And maybe the new realm of media will be the creation of mass live events. What if a spectacle like an eclipse could be viewable to millions but only accessible through a single channel? I’m not talking about a sporting event, it would need to be something completely different. We may see the emergence of new types of media where at a specific time and place and only once will someone be able to experience something.
Maybe this will take the form of more festivals like Burning Man or Nuit Blanche. It could also take the form of new means of consumption such as a combination of televisions and Echos. However, there are many new ways for artists to start dreaming about impactful experiences that we’ll consume.