“Black Mirror perfectly reflects many of the trends that we have been developing for a while in the sector, and specifically in PHD with our latest book Merge…we are definitely moving towards a reality that is closer than it seems.” Maria Crespo, Business Development Manager, PHD Spain
Black Mirror by Maria Crespo
If we analyse the audio-visual panorama and its evolution over time, it is interesting to see how in a short period of time it has evolved to what we have today.
If we look back a few years ago, the only series we saw were on the television, at most five a week divided between the different channels. In my case they were Partners, When Leaving Class, Friends and Dawson’s Creek. Those who were lucky enough to have Canal + had a few more, but that’s it.
Personally I think it was there that the first flirtations began with the adaptation of content to an increasingly demanding consumer with less time: remember that you could leave a series recording while you were not at home, to watch it later.
In a few years we could consume content online, with series or microcapsules on YouTube, which allowed you to see what you wanted at any time from any device, and the TV moved to the background.
But the real revolution comes with the entry of OTTs or video on demand. In Spain, according to the results of the Data Panel of the CNMC, Movistar leads the market with more than two million subscribers, followed by Netflix with just over one million and HBO at around 500,000. And you also must consider those that arrived at the end of 2017 like Sky and Amazon Prime Video. Why all this commotion? Well it has a very simple answer and it is thanks to the content they offer in a scenario where unfortunately television is at its lowest hours in terms of entertainment. They have intelligently taken advantage of a space to create a very attractive product for the consumer.
For example, we can talk about the social phenomenon that created series like Lost, Prison Break, Breaking Bad or The Walking Dead. The latter has evolved the most, going from being a specific and niche series to becoming a universal phenomenon of massive reach, so much so, that another series was created in parallel for fans of the original called: Fear the Walking Dead.
And now Netflix has dropped its latest bombshell with Black Mirror, a British production that premiered in December 2011 on Channel 4 and turned in to a total success that is driving all those who follow it crazy. I am among them.
A little over a month ago Netflix recommended it to me: “It’s something different, there’s no thread, you do not have to follow an order and the message is brutal.” I like the idea of implicit messages and anything that leaves you wondering, so I started with high expectations of the first episode, which I have to say I did not like at all!
However, I decided to give it another chance and continue with the following episodes and suddenly I was hooked – an increasingly powerful cast is mixed with stories that are increasingly futuristic, but no less certain. The message is so strong that sometimes seeing yourself reflected, you get embarrassed.
And yes, it affects all aspects of life, sometimes reaching extreme situations, but which we know that the human being would be capable of, which is even more devastating.
On a professional level, for example, it caught my attention, because it perfectly captures many of the trends that we have been developing for a while in the sector, and specifically in PHD with our latest book Merge, where we analyse how AI and new technologies will affect the way we work, marketing and brands in particular. We are definitely moving towards a reality that is closer than it seems.
It looks like we have Black Mirror for a while, as two weeks ago they brought to light the meaning of the title, which I will not disclose here so you can see the series, the articles and videos of reactions in the followers they have viralised in social networks. You just need to take a walk around Madrid or ride the metro to realise the effect it is causing. The question is: Are we at the beginning of a new transmedia era? And more importantly, is this the only way to create supported content to succeed?