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It’s the beginning of the end for flat content

Updated: Apr 10

There’s a shift that happens within industries when new technologies are introduced. As explained by Marc Andreessen in this podcast, “when one layer commoditises, the next layer can become incredibly valuable”. 


A smartphone displaying music streaming apps

© Tada Images - stock.adobe.com


Let’s look at the music industry, for example. Streaming completely transformed the economic landscape, culminating in the meteoric rise of Spotify and a new normal for music consumption. Suddenly, the value of buying a CD dropped to next to nothing, as the alternative of paying a few pounds a month for unlimited access to music took over. With this, came a rise in the value of live events. This was, and still is, where musicians make the majority of their money, with record labels having to adapt to this new economic model. 


2D video is heading in the same direction, as it continues to be commoditised, incredible opportunities are opening up for companies to capture the value of the next layer.


3D environments - content’s new home


When I was a teenager, I used to spend my evenings sitting at a computer on MSN messenger chatting to my friends. My parents had no idea what was happening - the concept was not something they were used to. We are now in exactly the same position with young people socialising inside video games.


“Games are now the #1 source of entertainment among Gen Alpha – that’s more than social networking, streaming movies/series, and watching broadcast TV.”

Nearly 75% of players hang out in game worlds without playing the actual game. There’s a clear shift in behaviour from passively watching traditional 2D video to the live, social interaction of games.


Not only are young people spending more time in games, but they’re spending money there too. In-game consumer spending accounts for the biggest share of the video gaming market. In 2020, global gaming audiences spent an approximate $54 billion on additional in-game content. In 2025, the market value of in-game purchases is projected to surpass $74.4 billion


The spatial computing race is on


In conjunction with this, spatial computing is going mainstream. Apple’s release of the Vision Pro and Meta’s Reality Labs are the first signs of an industry moving from the fringes. 


The Apple Vision Pro headset

© liubomir118809 - stock.adobe.com


As more traditional forms of media converge into games, the way we interact with content will fundamentally change, and with it present a new landscape of possibilities. 


Authentic, live, social and personalised content will define the next generation of the web. More on this in my blog here


But there’s another important factor at play. 


From UGC to AIGC - what this means for social media 

 

Social media platforms rely on authentic, user-generated content to survive. But what happens when models like Open AI’s Sora start to be used to create content for social platforms? 


We’ve already seen how Facebook “has become an endless scroll of AI photos and the boomers haven’t noticed”. The next generation of videos on social media will be equally misleading and lack the authenticity people crave from these platforms. They’ll be created with the purpose of gaming the algorithm, making news feeds noisy and unfulfilling. 


A person scrolling through a social media newsfeed on their smarth

I believe this will lead to a move back towards more curated content, with people craving authenticity. Ultimately, this will be content that enables social interaction, with an emphasis on live, authentic experiences. 


There’s a huge opportunity here for companies that are willing to see the bigger picture. It’s going to be tempting for organisations to try and adapt their social media strategies to fit this influx in AI generated content. But thinking short term won’t result in wins. Overcrowded news feeds filled with AI generated content will quickly fall out of fashion. Shared live experiences in social 3D spaces is the future. 


Hollywood is also impacted


The democratisation of filmmaking has resulted in a landscape where only the top tier of Hollywood thrives. Generative AI is yet another step back for creative studios, and it can be difficult to embrace. Just a few days ago, billionaire filmmaker Tyler Perry halted his $800 million plan to expand his production company after having seen what Open AI’s Sora could do. The challenge for the film industry will be adapting to the possibilities that AI and spatial computing presents, and embracing them rather than fighting against them. 


The future is live and 3D


Here at Condense, we see a future where likes and shares and endless scrolling are no longer the de facto method of consumption online. Where you can experience live events with your friends in virtual worlds of your own design.


It might be the beginning of the end for flat content, but it’s just the start of a spatial, social, 3D future. 

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