Andrew Keen on New Media: Has the prophet Steve Jobs found the secret of our digital futures?

… The most lucid explanation of life after TV I’ve ever heard came from a nine-year-old. “After TV,” the boy said, “comes bedtime.”You may laugh, but life after television may well mean bedtime for the careers of many TV executives. And that’s why there is such a frenzied rush to create product that will become the standard – the platform, if you like – for the post-television age. This is the new new-media gold rush. Everyone – from Apple’s Steve Jobs to News Corp’s Rupert Murdoch to NBC’s Jeff Zucker to the BBC’s Mark Thompson – is scrambling to ascend this summit first and get their hands on the digital holy grail.Take Hulu, for example. Launched last December, it is a joint venture of Murdoch’s News Corp and Zucker’s NBC Universal. This is a beautifully designed website that not only allows viewers to stream popular American TV shows like The Simpsons and Saturday Night Live for free, but also to edit and share that content with friends. In this way, Hulu transforms old-media television into new-media social networking. But the problem with Hulu is that its content is threadbare – many of the shows are clips rather than full-length versions of the original. Hulu’s other problem is that it doesn’t work on portable devices, which makes it an anachronism in an iPod-centric world.

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