In Yuval Noah Hariri’s book, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, he predicts that the future of programing will be so curated that your TV will know when you have a heartbreak and select which movie or song to cheer you up.
With the hullabaloo of the capacity of Artificial Intelligence (AI) this does not entirely seem out of the world or even unachievable over the next couple of years.
Currently online channels such as Youtube that troll habits try to predict and suggest content based on previous choices, similar programming and promoted media.
With more than 500 hours of video content are uploaded to YouTube every minute, it uses ‘suggested videos’ – a personalized collection of videos that an individual viewer may be interested in watching next, based on prior activity.
Offline, some of the big players are offering banded up packages with various levels of access depending on pricing rather than changing personal preferences.
DStv for instance will give you Premium content with 175 channels for Sh7,900 while at almost half of that, Sh4,800 you will get 155 channels on Compact Plus or 135 channels on Compact for a quarter of the premium price or Sh2,650.
The Family packages costs Sh1,380 for 115 channels while Access, Sh1000 package will give you 95 channels and you can also get add-on packages such as Indian (Sh4,000), Great wall (Sh770), French touch (Sh735), French plus (Sh3,340) and Portuguese (Sh5,800).
The company has consistently maintained its leadership in television entertainment since its founding in 1995 providing movies, sports, culture, documentaries, news, and other entertaining broadcast programs and has been able to leverage economies of scale to reach wider audiences affordably.
But as we go into the future, will things change in the way packages are offered? We have already seen newspaper content shift online first by offering packages for the whole paper.
Then they slowly realized the person who reads sports may not be the same person who reads business, politics or entertainment.
Paywall allowed them to sell specific content to specific people and we cannot be surprised when in future these buying patterns will determine how to package a bundle of content; what to put in a bag and what to throw out as curating moves between the individual needs and group segmentation.
Pay TV will likely learn a lot more from purchases of single programs, M-Pesa billing and online personality profiles that will shape TV packages of the future.
The content will be filtered and varied and as Yuval says, Movie night will not be a hit, or miss when you have to change it in the midway because it bores you, your mood that day will help technology choose for you the best pick for that romantic night and do that for several other users.