10 November 2013 Asynchronous Media Consumption
I’m the sort of person who points out the Wilhelm Scream in a movie. I subscribe to subreddits about television shows and check in on the post-episode discussion weekly. At the end of every movie I’ll read its trivia on IMDb or look up what the Internet generally thought of a book I’ve just finished. And I think there’s nothing better than a conversation among friends walking out of a cinema.
In fact, I almost enjoy talking about the media I consume as much as I do consuming it.
But the problem is, increasingly our media consumption is becoming asynchronous. No longer do we all consume the same thing at the same time. Podcasts, catch-up television and torrenting means we not only consume how we want, but when we want.
This creates a problem for my post-media consumption discussion. Individually our media stories progress at different paces and any conversation is quickly stopped by an urgent “NO SPOILERS” demand.
If you wanted to talk about the amazing end of Breaking Bad’s Season 4 today, you couldn’t do it without reading spoilers from Season 5. And imagine I could see my friend’s response to the first book of Game of Thrones as I put the book down, even if we read them five years apart.
I need a utility to engage in conversation in ‘unreal’ time. Like SoundCloud allows people to comment throughout the song, we need a companion technology to share thoughts over the course of a television series, movie, book, series of albums or just about any media.
I don’t know what it looks like but I suspect an iPad app would compliment our existing media consumption, and the need for discussion about it, quite nicely.