This is Scientific American's 60-Second Science. I'm Steve Mirsky. Got a minute?
"Sometimes things are very stable, and then they change a lot."
Reed Hastings, the CEO of Netflix.
He was talking May 5th at the re:publica 15 digital culture conference in Berlin.
Although his comment is a neat summary of punctuated equilibrium, his topic was not biological evolution, but the evolution of how we watch TV.
"And we will come to see that linear TV declines every year for the next 20 years.
And that Internet TV rises every year.
"The advantages with Internet TV are you can watch it when you want, you can watch it on any screen, you can watch it with any combination of subtitles and dubbing that you want.
"And so year by year linear TV will shrink, even with sports.
So, in the next World Cup, many of you will have 4k televisions, and you'll want to watch the World Cup in 4k.
But broadcast and linear and cable will not be able to provide you a 4k signal.
But instead it will come over the Internet.
"Of course, shows over the Internet, you'll have many choices between ad-supported models like YouTube and commercial-free models like Netflix.
And the television screen will look like a large iPad, take an iPad and stretch it out two meters wide.
It'll be like that, where there's all different applications, all different options, all competing for your time and attention, and improving.
"The Internet will get so much faster, fiber to every household that has electricity.
All of this will happen over the next 10 years, propelling and driving Internet video.
And you'll have more and more options on your smart TV or on your phone as all video moves to the Internet.
"And what we're excited about is as we produce for the Internet, how could we do this in nonconventional ways.
Certainly we could make TV shows like everybody else, but on the Internet we ought to be able to make TV shows that can't be done on linear.
We ought to be able to play with formats, with interactivity, with length of episode, with plot twists to do amazing things in entertainment and engagement that's never been done before."
Thanks for the minute, for Scientific American's 60-Second Science. I'm Steve Mirsky.