Bill Gates thinks internet will squash today’s TV in five years

billgates Bill Gates thinks internet will squash today’s TV in five yearsNo matter what your personal view is on Microsoft (evil/not evil) you got to hand it to Mr. Big Shot himself. Bill Gates usually knows what he’s talking about. Like so many tech gurus he might be a bit premature in his predictions, but still, they have an impact and are usually more or less valid in the end.

And now TV as we know it has only five years left to live. Thank you, internet!

“I’m stunned how people aren’t seeing that with TV, in five years from now, people will laugh at what we’ve had,” he told business leaders and politicians at the World Economic Forum.

We’re talking about online content on demand here, something that actually quite a number of broadcasting company have understood, but perhaps are keeping under closed wraps. BBC is the model here, I would imagine, but it’s too early to say if they will actually make it.

I have read numerous reports on how YouTube affects TV, and how it doesn’t whatsoever. The problem with these reports is that they forget what they’re measuring. If the kids (and by kids I mean the younger crowd, som kids are 25 years old…) indeed are watching YouTube to a further extent than TV, then we’ll see an increase in online TV on demand for sure.

Projects like Joost (The Project Formerly Known As Venice) are taking TV in a new direction, as is iTunes with downloadble content. The same goes for Microsoft’s plans with IPTV for the Xbox 360, but you can actually already download both TV shows and movies to a certain extent via the Xbox Live Marketplace.

Online is where TV is going. My personal prediction is that you’ll be given the choice of ads or micropayments. That last one is interesting, since Bill Gates says Microsoft will do that.

Content online is evolving, and it’s at the expense of traditional old media channels. Newspapers and TV channels aren’t necessary doomed, they just need to adapt and start to think in new ways. While pre-roll ads on your uploaded YouTube clips might feel intrusive, that may very well be a solid solution. Think Revver or Brightcove. Newspapers have their own problems to tackle, but their situation is no less exposed.

Bill Gates says so.

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