Mal Fletcher comments on changing media habits in the UK.

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The first stage is characterised by reaction. The olde school propogator of information and entertainments is shocked by some upstart new arrival. Executives start asking, "Who is this young punk who wants to steal away our audience, our market?"

Then follows adaptation. The older medium tries to borrow ideas from the new. Smartphones have changed how we engage with the internet, via apps.

The internet changed how TV was made, via scrolling-text-on-screen and live audience response. Television transformed the way movies were shot. Movies shook up the world of radio, and so it goes.

For all the angst this process brings to people working in the established media, the final phase brings at least some resolution. It is marked by accommodation.

There comes a point where the new and old media learn how to work together, doing slightly different things, within the same space.

Two years ago, people were predicting the demise of paper books. Today, the production of new e-book readers has stalled.

Doubtless, there will be times of new growth for the electronic book industry - for example, when publishers start gamifying books, turning into truly interactive experiences. But present market conditions suggest that the paper book is relatively safe for the near future.

The same is probably true for television and, yes, even phone calls. But they will inevitably change in ways even the most prescient among us can't foresee.

Ten years from now, people will laugh at us and our chatter about CONFIG.SYS files. CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.