Entertainment has constantly evolved alongside technology. From cave paintings to the first theatre performance to the first black and white television set, the newest technology has always enabled mankind to express itself through different, ever-improving mediums. The last 20 years, however, have seen technology evolve in exponential leaps and bounds, and along with it our ability to express ourselves artistically.
The advent of the internet alone has brought all sorts of entertainment far closer to our fingertips. Even before the dawn of huge video streaming providers like Netflix, Hulu, or HBO, or music streaming providers like Spotify, concepts like filesharing gave even those with a limited grasp of technology access to a nearly limitless collection of online content.
Physical forms of media like DVD/Blu-ray, CDs, or even books are rapidly losing their grasp on a market that’s come to be dominated by their online equivalent. Why buy an entire library of books when it all fits onto a small flash drive and can all be read from your Kindle? Why keep a shelf full of DVDs and a clunky box to play them on when all you need is an Apple TV, a Chromecast, or one of many other smaller streaming boxes? Hell, we’re rapidly approaching an era where your ‘smart’ TV will probably have internet access all by itself.
By 2020, you might be watching the current season of House of Cards on your toaster while making breakfast in the morning.
Hardware, too, has changed media and entertainment consumption drastically over the years. Where once it was a rarity for someone to be carrying a portable TV on the train, you can now stream or play your own stored content anywhere on the go. Listening to music no longer requires a portable cassette or CD player. Your phone takes care of that too, with considerably more storage capability too.
As technology evolves, so too will our immediate access to various forms of entertainment. In the future, concepts like virtual reality may become more ubiquitous as the technology improves and the entertainment industry becomes more accepting of it. Other forms of hardware or software will emerge to enhance existing technologies and others still to challenge and dethrone them. Only time will tell.