Today there are millions of people who pay a cable or satellite company between $30-$90 a month for 100 channels that they don't watch. These same people pay hundreds of dollars for DVR's and media centers to record shows that they end up deleting and if that's not enough they pay for Netflx to deliver movies that sit on a shelf not being watched.
We are trying to get traditional media to do the things that computers do. We want on-demand media. We want to be able to watch any show, any movie, any time we want. The problem is that traditional media isn't setup to do that.
ABC this year has put it's prime time shows online and that has the potential to change how TV networks interact with consumers. Users with internet access can get any prime-time ABC show anytime they want. I expect the other TV networks to follow... NBC, CBS, FOX, and then the cable providers CNN, BBC, Comedy Central, TLC, etc, etc.
Two things will need to happen to really change the way that TV works. TV 2.0 if you like buzz-words.
- An open format for TV syndication. This will do for TV what RSS did for blogs. It will allow other sites, networks, individuals to syndicate content with an agreed upon method to present the content and any commercials that the content provider decides.
- A hardware device that allows me to have a 10 ft user experience and makes the whole process dead easy.
The first part is good for the TV networks, it makes it easy for a TV show to go viral, it makes it easier to get eyeballs and to sell targeted ads. Best of all it doesn't hurt traditional media it just expands the potential audience. This will also eliminate the need for underground Torrent networks to trade these shows. Ads that are targeted can be a good thing but ads for something you don't want is what drives people crazy and leads them to Tivo. Google will be a major ad player in matching viewers with appropriate ads.
The second part is good for consumers. Instead of paying the cable company $30-$90 for a hard to use cable box that delivers something that you don't really want I think people would prefer an alternative service that gives you exactly what you want. Any show, any movie, any time you want.