Innovations That Matter

What Can We Learn About Media Consumption From Past Entertainment Innovations?

Lessons From the Innovation Archive

The entertainment innovations we’ve been spotting over the last several years have pointed to a new model of media consumption.

In this series, we’re unearthing ideas from our extensive archive of over 10,000 innovations that are relevant to the times we find ourselves in today.

Whilst the response to the coronavirus pandemic is already spurring new and innovative ideas and solutions that may shape sectors for years to come, we can also look to the past for lessons in agility. With this in mind, Springwise is resurfacing ideas from our extensive innovation archive.

The entertainment innovations we’ve been spotting over the last several years have pointed to a new model of media consumption: one in which the lines between producer and consumer are further blurred; content is ever more personal and audiences are active participants in previously one-way entertainment. 

As a result, three disruptive trends became apparent: conventional formats were usurped by novel, tech-enabled alternatives, output became highly personalized and increasingly co-created with the audience and traditional ways of accessing entertainment were upended. 

For more lessons in business innovation, check out Disrupt! by Springwise’s James Bidwell, now available in paperback. 


Originally published: 12th February 2014

While family members may be flung across the far corners of the world, there are now many ways to keep in touch more easily, from video calls to social media. Now a new startup called bob is hoping to change the way families use their TV, with a USB stick that transforms the screens into an interactive dashboard to keep track and connect with distant relatives.

Hailing from Israel, the Android-based device can be connected to any USB-enabled TV and users can set it up as part of their home network. Each member of the family creates their own login and is given a personalized dashboard. From the dashboard, they can send messages to other family members with a bob stick, access video-on-demand, games and web services to share with each other. 

See all articles in our Innovation Archive series.

Viewers can even sync the videos they watch so that, even if they’re not in the same location, family members can enjoy a film together and chat about it on screen. Profiles can also be tailored to the type of family member — for example, children can only access suitable content, while grandparents can easily use bob to ask their relatives for help or go through their online shopping together. 


Originally published: 1 March 2016

Most sports-lovers would agree that one of the main pleasures in watching a match is the shared experience of being among fellow fanatics. Now, LiveLike is a virtual reality (VR) platform that aims to enhance the home-viewing experience by enabling viewers to watch games together in a virtual stadium.

To begin, users download the app and create a customizable stadium. They then choose an avatar and invite their friends to join them in the virtual space. LiveLike VR is currently available using Samsung Gear VR and will soon be playable through VR headsets Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Google Cardboard VR. Users put on their headsets and are then able to chat, access stats and highlights and choose from different angles of the field.

The initial demo of the app was trialled by soccer team Manchester City FC and LiveLike has recently enabled fans to watch CONCACAF Soccer Gold Cup using the Fox Sports VR App (made by LiveLike). Users were able to invite their friends to the stadium directly from Facebook or select a random option to join a room with three other viewers. Each user appears as an avatar which can be slightly customized.


Originally published: 20th August 2014

Opening up access to art galleries and museums is certainly a good thing, but for some entry can be too expensive, galleries can be located too far away or the experience can be ruined by bustling tourists. While Google’s Street View Art Project has already brought brick and mortar institutions into the digital world by allowing users to virtually walk through its rooms, the UK’s Tate Britain has developed the After Dark scheme, which enables anyone to browse the collection through a robot that moves around the gallery when everyone else has gone home.

Created in conjunction with art studio The Workers, the initiative ran for five nights between 13 and 17 August. On those nights, the gallery closed to the public at 6 pm as normal, but after all the lights were switched off, four telepresence robots equipped with cameras and the robot equivalent of a headtorch got to work.

Between 10 pm and 3 am, internet users could request to take control of the machines and explore the gallery for themselves. The robots were able to move in any direction and look up and down, while the camera feed was live-streamed through the After Dark website for everyone to see. In order to ensure the robots didn’t damage any priceless sculptures, they were also equipped with Roomba-like object avoidance technology.


Originally published: 14th November 2016

Presenting a moral dilemma that mirrored contemporary aeroplane-related terror attacks, Germany’s Terror-Your Verdict drama ended with resounding agreement from viewers. Aired on the Das Erste channel, viewers were allowed to vote whether or not the show’s protagonist was guilty of murder. More than 85 per cent of viewers thought he was not guilty.

The movie-length drama was aired in a number of European countries, including Switzerland, Italy and the Czech Republic. Local news anchors moderated the voting process, and experts debated the law and various national rulings.