Technology Record - Issue 24: Spring 2022

128 www. t e c h n o l o g y r e c o r d . c om Over the past 30 years, the media landscape has undergone a dramatic transformation in the way it delivers content. Where once viewers would have sat down in front of their televisions to watch at a specific time on a specific channel, now they can access a virtually unlimited number of content sources at any time and from any place. Similarly, the range of organisations producing entertainment has expanded far beyond traditional broadcasters, with disruptive creators finding new and innovative content niches to capture audience’s attention. With such choice, it has become difficult to maintain a traditional approach of trying to appeal to a broad, general audience. Simon Crownshaw, director of worldwide media and entertainment strategy at Microsoft, explains how the philosophy behind content creation has changed. “If you look at how media and entertainment has changed in the last few decades, you’ve come from a world where broadcasters traditionally would have a one-to-many vision for their content, which would have to mean all things to all people,” he says. “What you’ve now got, however, is a unique ecosystem of content creators, all of whom can produce large amounts of content on platforms based on data, with customers who expect personalisation. Fundamentally we’re all looking for content that stands out from the crowd as truly meaningful to us, appealing to our unique interests. The personalised experience is fundamental to how media and content will be created going forward.” The shift towards personalised content has been kicked into an even higher gear over the last two years by the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, as physical spaces and in-person interactions had to be replaced by digital alternatives. “Before, we had more frequent in-person interactions where we were able to talk about things that are happening in the world,” says Crownshaw. “Now, we’re looking at digital communities with a global aperture as we come together to share and engage in experiences on a global scale in virtual environments. I think that the pandemic exposed a need for places in which we can come together with like-minded people safely and encouraged technology companies like Microsoft to provide core elements of community in the digital world through platforms like XBOX.” With media content more freely available than ever before, Microsoft’s Simon Crownshaw discusses why personalised entertainment will be key for media organisations as they look to attract viewers with more meaningful experiences entertainment Making personal F E ATUR E BY A L E X SM I TH