Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Welcome to the Stay at Home Generation

For a Londoner, jumping on a plane to go to a party in Barcelona is nothing these days. Thanks to easyjet et al, planes are like buses, only more reliable and often more frequent.

But, the world is changing. Oil prices in the US are resulting in a rise in ecommerce in the US, where a journey to Wal Mart can now cost more in gas than it does at the checkout.

Welcome to the hyperlocal economy where pre industrial age values and living will resurface as more and more people realise how truly damaging air flight is to the environment (one transatlantic flight is said to be worth a whole year's driving), so expect a backlash against the 'must travel' generation and where gas and insurance costs mean that car ownership might decline for the first time in a decade.

Welcome to an age where many things become hyperlocal and the living room is the new cinema.

If these rather sweeping predictions come true, who will be the winners and the loosers in the media world?

The main casualty that is already becoming apparent is the cinema.

The move of cinemas to industrial estates on the outskirts of town means that a night out is an unedifying experience. The conditions once inside modern cinemas - with a few notable exceptions - are often not much better.

Today a major Hollywood movie is made available for online download at the same time as it becomes available in retail outlets. So, beyond owning a box, the writing is on the wall. It's better experience staying at home. The makers of domestic equipment are likely to be the major winners as content becomes ubiquitous throughout the home.

The more imaginative mind can see virtual tourism also becoming popular at the expense of low cost airlines and the car companies. So, next time you feel like a coutch potato, think of how much good you're doing the earth...

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