“Mr. Nelson Predicted The Personalized, Data-Driven, On-Demand Future Of Digital Media We’re Dealing With Today”

in a 1967 video, advertising exec James Nelson ¬†predicted the long-term future of the business–and much of our culture. From Matthew Creamer at Ad Age:

“The eerily spot-on moment you have to see is Mr. Nelson’s vision of a magazine whose content is wholly determined by the age, gender and interests of its reader and laser-beamed right to the home. The ads, too, are perfectly targeted.

Lifetime, the Magazine for You is laser-beamed to a device that prints out the content from under the kitchen sink, next to the garbage disposal. Each copy is unique and the subscription is noncancelable. Says Mr. Nelson in the film, ‘Only the ads that could reasonably appeal to the subscriber are included in his issue and if an advertiser wanted to reach only 28-year-old mothers of three children, boy-girl-boy, that was who they reached … there was 100% coverage and no waste circulation and no matter how the subscriber felt about it, noncancelable.’

It’s easy to see apps like Flipboard and concepts like the filter bubble, if not the whole digital-publishing world, bent on serving up content and ads that are less about the independent vision of an editorial team and more about divining what the reader will actually click on. So in this fun and tossed-off little clip, Mr. Nelson predicted the personalized, data-driven, on-demand future of digital media we’re dealing with today, even if he was, sadly, wrong about the lasers.

‘It was just a thought,’ said Mr. Nelson, when we asked the 91-year-old for his memories of the film. ‘I didn’t think anyone would actually do it.'”

2017 Revisited from Jamie Nelson on Vimeo.

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