Steve Balmer, the CEO of Microsoft gave the keynote address at the recent Consumer Electronics show in Vegas and announced to the audience that the biggest opportunity for the consumer electronics industry is the convergence of screens – TV, PC, Mobile and other devices including tablets, kiosks and all other forms of consumer and professional displays. In his estimation, in the very near future “screens and displays will literally be everywhere.”

Balmer predicted that the division between the TV and the PC will finally go away and that a screen would simply be a device that you can get access to whatever content you want, wherever and whenever you want it.

The price of displays is dropping quickly: 32″ displays for under $500, 40” displays for under $1,000 and these lower prices show no sign of abating. High-end screens – full HD (1080p) are quickly replacing 720p screens. At the same time digital storage is trending towards free (an external terabyte hard drive for $100 ) and bandwidth costs are slowly moving in the right direction.

What does all of this mean? As the means of displaying, storing and delivering video becomes cheaper and cheaper video will quickly becoming the dominant means of communicating for organizations.  Both B2C and B2B businesses (and government organizations)  will continue to evolve their marketing, outreach and communications activities to video.

Some immediate consequences of this phenomena:

  • We’re starting to see the hollowing out of the newspaper industry. Those that are likely to survive will have online news and video components to supplement their offerings. (The boomers can only keep them alive for so long.)
  • Magazine publishers are also adding video and rich media to their web presence.
  • Video displays are now standard in most retail outlets today and we are starting to see the proliferation of video to every unused indoor and outdoor surface because of the advertising, promotional and informational opportunities.
  • Online Live video – once only employed by well-financed organizations is being adopted by a wide variety of organizations as a tool for delivery immediacy and excitement in the form of events, broadcasts and live meetings.
  • Google continues to refine its Universal Search which includes images, video, blogs, news, local search and any information in any form to it`s search results. Video is popping up more frequently on Google`s first page results as Google continues to weight video heavily in its search algorithm. 
  • Internet devices (netbooks) and tablet computers are selling well – both of these devices are ideally suited for web-based delivery of video.
  • Most companies are adding video and rich media to their websites and experimenting with how the video portals can influence their brands.
  • YouTube is now available through Wii and Playstation consoles on your television.