Tuesday, November 1, 2011

There's A New Kid In Town

A few weeks back a tweet pointed me at a Mashable article about new episodes of a popular TV show called Arrested Development. It is often big news when a show is cancelled or begins shooting a new season, but what made this announcement so different is where the new episodes are expected to air. Fox, the network which originally carried the show, cancelled it back in 2006. New episodes are being filmed as part of the production of a feature length film and these may be shown on the internet site HULU.

This made me wonder if the both the traditional and newer cable networks are now entering a new phase of competition in the world of entertainment. Sites like HULU have offered vintage television shows for years. There are a number of services delivering content in digital form including Boxee, Roku and Netflix. HBO introduced HBO Go to allow you to watch their content on demand and on any digital device.

On HULU you can watch television shows like the Honeymooners or I Love Lucy, or you can catch last week's episode of House. The other services deliver shows and movies made for television as well as feature length films. However, these sites have not carried this kind of original content, until now.

In 2012 Netflix plans to produce at least 26 episodes of a political thriller called  "House of Cards."Google also announced it is planning to produce original content on its YouTube site. Like Apple, Google makes a television viewing appliance to deliver entertainment content. It makes sense they would branch out and begin to deliver original shows in addition to syndicated, licensed or contributed content.

We were once limited to a few major networks and the specific time slots in which they chose to air their shows. The video recording device liberated us from time constraints and the cable channels expanded our choices a hundred fold. The internet made it possible to watch shows from the past and first run movies in our living room or on our desktops.

We may be on the cusp of a new revolution in entertainment where our next new favorite series may  be served up via an internet channel and viewed on any digital driven display when and where we choose to watch.

Here is yet another industry like retail and telecommunications about to undergo a fundamental shift as the internet becomes both the source and delivery of its products.

 Captain Joe

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