With the 10 year challenge storming the internet, we decided to take a look back at how the world of TV and film has transformed since 2009...
Picture the scene. Slumdog Millionaire has just won 8 awards at the Oscars, Game of Thrones doesn’t exist yet and the most watched video on YouTube is Susan Boyle performing on Britain’s got Talent. It’s 2009 and the world of film, TV and online content is wildly different to the one we live in today. But how did these changes come to be? And perhaps more importantly, what do the next ten years have in store?
Big budget blockbuster films have come a long way in the past decade. With cinema facing tough competition, companies in 2019 need to think about how to attract audiences - and retain them. One genre in particular has completely taken over: superheroes. Marvel manages to draw people in time and time again by planting references to their ever-expanding interconnected universe in every single film. With 19 Marvel films released between 2008 - 2018, this is a trend that seems unlikely to stop yet. Animated films also continue to be popular, and the connection between Millennials and childhood nostalgia has resurrected series long thought dead: with sequels like The Incredibles 2 and live action versions of old Disney classics like The Lion King. It is perhaps the films vying for Oscars that have changed the least, but movements like #MeToo demonstrate that change is most certainly underway for the film industry as a whole.
On the small screen, things have got a whole lot bigger. Since 2009 we have seen the emergence of several huge drama series like Breaking Bad, Mad Men and most significantly - Game of Thrones. Series like these, armed with complex plots and stunning special effects, have made television the preferred medium for storytelling as they allow audiences to grow and engage with characters over time - without having to compensate on the action. In fact, the final season of HBO’s biggest show is estimated to have a budget of $15 million per episode. And perhaps the biggest change in the way we create and consume media has come with the birth of streaming services. Back in 2009, Netflix was still primarily an online DVD rental company with only a small selection of streaming titles. But after shifting their focus to an online monthly subscription package, they changed the game forever - with platforms like Amazon, NowTV and even Disney now pandering to the Millennial and Generation Z need for instant gratification. The nail biting, edge of your seat, once a week cliffhangers of 2009 have been replaced by the binge-watch, which was officially added to the dictionary in 2015, allowing viewers to eat up whole seasons in one day.
Arguably the other major change since 2009 has been the transformation of YouTube from a platform to share cat videos to one that hosts full length, sophisticated programming. The biggest YouTubers now earn up to $22 million per year, so it's no wonder that 1 in 3 British children now want to be a Youtuber when they grow up. The fusion of social media and broadcast along with the rise of online influencers provides a whole host of new opportunities for young people, with new jobs emerging that would’ve been completely unheard of in 2009. The next ten years are likely to see Generation Z in particular use and shape new technology to their benefit, with the 2020s looking to be the decade of drones, virtual reality and most significantly - artificial intelligence. Netflix’s latest Black Mirror special ‘Bandersnatch’ recently revolutionised streaming by allowing users to choose the path they wanted their viewing experience to take and was released to rave reviews, but it also provided a stark warning for the future. Is it possible that media could get too interactive?
So, a glow up or a dumb down … what do you think? What’s the biggest change you’ve noticed in the way film and TV is written, produced and consumed? And what do you think the next 10 years have in store?