Rhett & Link Predict the Future of Video on ‘Ear Biscuits’

/ Sep 12, 2014

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In the current digital age, the idea of a future in which our way of life has completely altered lurks potentially just around the corner. Rhett & Link paid homage to this concept in this week’s “Ear Biscuits,” when they created a podcast “time capsule” for listeners in the year 2024.

From Google Glass to drones, the comedic duo contemplated contemporary technological advancements and their possible evolution. When it came to video in particular, the two, being in the business, had plenty to say.

First up on the video docket, Rhett & Link discussed the future of cinema. If you’ve ever been to Disney’s Epcot Center, you’re at least semi-familiar with the notion of movies that stimulate the senses of smell and touch in addition to sight and hearing. 3D film has been an Epcot staple for some time, now, and one can easily call it a regular at any old cinema in 2014. However, Rhett believes movies will have to step up their game even more to bring in audiences come 2024.

“My prediction is that the movie watching experience at home will be so much better or even comparable to what we would get in a theater now that people will have had to upgrade what the theater provides in 2024,” said Rhett, adding, “Smellovision, don’t laugh.” Perhaps that technology will end up in our own homes, too (3D viewing did), but people still end up paying to see 3D movies in the theater. Even with early film releases online and on demand, the theater-going experience remains unique—a more appealing first date, for example, than inviting someone over to watch a movie on your living room couch (which could also be construed as a very creepy first date).

Next, the guys turned to commercials. Link still “sits through commercials that subsidized the production of television shows.” They further noted that though they’ve found a way to subsidize their online content, they still can’t churn out shows like “Breaking Bad” (Link’s example). Of course, there are many reasons behind this, but among then lies an undeniable distinction between traditional television and shows on YouTube.

“We make YouTube videos, which people do enjoy on their television sets if they’re a little more tech savvy, but in general, we still see YouTube as a different entity from television as a different entity from internet television as a different entity from movies,” Rhett explained. Link concurred, noting that he may watch a short-form YouTube show while waiting for his wife to join him to watch a longer show on streaming video platforms like Netflix or Amazon—all on his home TV screen, of course, not his laptop.

Rhett & Link also pointed out the difference between the Emmys and the Streamys. The former considered plenty of content from Netflix this past year (none of which won in any major categories), while the latter distinctly honors YouTube creators. However, the somewhat disparate categories have further merged in at least one awards ceremony, the Teen Choice Awards. However, Rhett brought up that the ceremony refers to recipients who create content and put it online as “internet celebrities.”

On this note, Rhett made his final predication for the podcast. “While I think there will be something distinctly different about independent entertainment, like what’s on YouTube, and studio-based entertainment, it’s not going to be like, ‘Well, one is on this website and one is on my TV when I get home,’” he said. However, he does think (and hopes), that the line between independent work and network/studio-based work will remain in 2024.

For more rehashing of current trends and predictions of what’s to come 10 years from now (worth about 50 pre-internet years), listen Rhett & Link’s “time capsule” podcast on “Ear Biscuits.”

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