Sunday, December 20, 2015

A Major Disruption In Your Living Room

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I just read a newsletter which I received from The Motley Fool. I believe that what it speaks about is absolute near-term Global Futurist gospel. The is about to be a major disruption right in your living room. Please forgive the spacing and idiosyncratic fonts in this post -- I was so excited and so eager to get it out on a timely basis, that I didn't get a chance to edit it properly.

I have excerpted the following information from that newsletter [this excerpt does not contain the full content of the newsletter itself]:
December 20, 2015
Hi Fellow Fools:
It shouldn't shock you to hear that I'm known as "tech-guy" in my extended family ... always rambling about new gadgets and predictions for the future.
So when scheduling conflicts forced us to open Christmas presents early and my wife unwrapped the newest version of Apple TV, I was more than happy to oblige my family's request to immediately set it up. After setup was complete, their next request shouldn't surprise you either: they wanted to watch a Christmas movie.
So, I handed my wife the remote and told her to simply ask for what she wanted.
Pressing down a button to activate Siri, she said, "Let's watch a Christmas movie on Netflix" ... and was immediately provided a listing of holiday films matching her search. One click later, the movie popped up in Netflix, and we were enjoying a family Christmas flick together. It took all of 10 seconds. Everyone thought the new device was pretty magical. I could tell because they actually applauded when we found a movie so effortlessly.
The future of TV is here ... and there may still be time for you to profit from it.

The future is now

Long-time readers of this column will recall that I've discussed the huge profits up for grabs as consumers shift their spending dollars from expensive cable bills to new forms of entertainment.
An email I sent on July 19 titled, "How you could profit from millions canceling cable" predicted the following:
"My research ... [from February 2014]... showed that we were nearing a tipping point where consumers would begin calling it quits [with their cable bill]. I anticipated that these cancelations would be relatively light to start, but would gain traction and eventually destabilize the entire industry."
At the time, that opinion was very controversial. Up to 2013, the number of people subscribing to paid television options like cable TV had never declined in a single year!
But just last week, we saw the clearest indication yet that my prediction will be right on the money. New findings from researcher eMarketer now predict that before the end of the decade, 23% of households won't pay for the traditional TV we're used to.
Think about that for a moment. We've gone from cable growing every single year to years of accelerating losses so great that nearly a quarter of American homes will have "cut the cord!"
From this new research to my family's reaction to the Apple TV (a device built to appeal to cord cutters), all evidence points toward Americans shifting away from the "old TV" that's been dominant for decades at a stunning pace.

A bet you can make that's worked for centuries

While this trend is unwelcome news to TV incumbents like Comcast (not that you'll be shedding a tear for them!), there's a larger shift that creates huge opportunity for investors like you.
TV is at the center of an entertainment industry that PwC estimates will hit $2.2 trillion by 2017. The industry's continuing growth is a pretty safe bet. Namely because entertainment's growth is fueled by people being more productive at work and having more free time, and also having more discretionary wealth to spend on being entertained. With the world's wealth and productivity having risen for centuries, that's the kind of investing bet I like to make.
Netflix (NFLX) has been the poster child of how ahead-of-the-curve investors can benefit from this trend so far. Fool co-founder David Gardner recommended Netflix six different times to Stock Advisor members through the years. As I'm writing this, the best of those recommendations (from December 2004) is up a stunning 6,393%!

But, there's more opportunity ahead

However, while Netflix is the clearest beneficiary of the evolution sweeping the television industry, there are plenty of other areas of opportunity spread across the trillions of entertainment dollars spent each year.
Here's one example of a booming area of entertainment that's set for huge growth: virtual reality. Yes, it's been an absolute joke for decades, but don't be surprised to see it finally begin invading homes next year.
The promise of virtual reality - taking tours of the world's greatest wonders, stepping inside the scenes of movies - has always been a no-brainer experience consumers would love. The missing ingredient was technology good enough (and cheap enough!) to deliver compelling experiences.
That's about to change in 2016. A series of VR headsets are coming out from companies like Facebook (FB), Samsung, HTC, and many others. I'm going to the world's largest technology show in two weeks, and the number of emails flooding my inbox from virtual reality companies wanting to show me new, amazing technologies is simply overwhelming.
Best of all if you're an investor, this progress has turned into results. The company that makes the processors that many of these VR sets rely on to power their visuals has seen its share price explode in the second half of 2015 as tech insiders saw the advances in VR technology.


Yes, I believe that it is inevitable. Expect a major disruption right in your living room. Also, please be mindful of the fact that neither this blog nor the author ever provide investment advice. There will be some kinks to be worked out (aren't there always some bugs and bug fixes with every major consumer technology app release?), some privacy or other concerns, some die-hard traditionalists and the usual background noise of the naysayers, but this is an innovation and an application which simply should not and cannot be ignored by anyone.

Happy holidays, and my very best wishes to each and all for a happy, healthy, safe and prosperous New Year.

Labels, Tags, Keywords, Categories And Search Terms For This Article:
Apple TV, app, television, TV, Netflix, disruption, home, entertainment, Douglas E. Castle, The Global Futurist Blog, technology, 

- Douglas E. Castle



Discovering and following significant trends across an extensive range of domestic and international consumer, business, demographic, cultural, economic, political, technological and other key areas of influence and impact on life and business; predicting future change, preparing for it and profiting from it.

Key Terms: business, forecasting, trends, future, prediction, disruption, displacement, innovation, complexity theory, economic waves and cycles, projections, planning

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