There’s a lot of changes happening right now in TV. Big changes. Electrifying changes. I’m so very excited about the possibilities coming down the pipeline I had to write a blog post about it!
Let’s take a look, shall we?
First, we have Netflix who completely disrupted everything by introducing streaming television into our home. This recent and awesome Wired article, “The New rules of the Hyper-Social, Data-Driven, Actor-Friendly, Super-Seductive Platinum Age of Television: Rules 9 & 10“ takes a fascinating look at the impact this has had on the television industry. They’re discussing the changes Netflix has wrought with a lens on the upcoming Netflix release of the revived Arrested Development series. Some of my favourite bits [emphasis mine]:
[...] it was the kind of show you couldn’t join midway through a season unless you enjoyed the sound of in-jokes whizzing over your head. It was just not made for TV, at least not as it existed in the mid-2000s.
Each episode will cover events from a different character’s point of view, like a comedic Rashomon. There will be moments and Easter eggs that will make sense only in retrospect. There will be a suggested viewing sequence, but it will be possible—even rewarding—to watch out of sequence.
“In its purest form,” he [Arrested Development creator Mitch Hurwitz] says, “a new medium requires a new format.”
We also can’t forget about YouTube, who announced in October 2011 that they would be investing over $100 million in their own content creators. They even redid their own site layout in order to create an emphasis on subscriptions to channels. (Of course, it appears it largely hasn’t been a success, as they slashed funding in late 2012.)
Then there’s the whole Veronica Mars movie funded through Kickstarter news item from last week shaking things up as well. As many saw coming, this has fueled rumours of possible TV shows making their way back onto consumers’ screen, such as ABC’s Pushing Daisies and Firefly (sadly Firefly will not happen any time soon, according to Joss Whedon).
And now we have HBO, who recently announced they’re mulling on whether to make their HBO Go streaming service available to non-cable customers.
I think this really signified just how pervasive the cord cutting can become in the next few years. We’re in for a bumpy ride, folks. There’s a lot of innovation happening, and happening fast.
For example, here are some potential “Future of TV” thoughts I have running through my head right now:
- No more channels. No more cable TV. No more “networks,” as we know it. The networks who have built up their name (AMC, HBO, NBC) can continue to make the shows that consumers love and are willing to pay for but sell them through a different model. TV may no longer funded by ad campaigns. (The horror!)
- This means anyone (with enough capital investment) could theoretically start their own network. These “pop-up networks” would need to fund everything that goes into a TV series and be able to access a distribution model in order to begin playing with the big guys.
- Consumers can buy TV shows directly from networks, through a standardized distribution model (one hopes). They can choose to buy a shows at a time or in bulk, as Netflix is now doing with their shows House of Cards and Arrested Development.
- New shows trying to find an audience could be gifted to consumers, free of charge, with a purchase of a TV series. Similar to when networks would put a new show on right after a very popular series, in the hopes that audiences would stick around.
These are just some of my ideas. I’d love to know where you think TV is going. Please leave your thoughts in the comments!