The Future of Television

Written by Branden Scott Stewart

Paying a cable or satellite provider to receive 24/7 programming from large companies and stations may be a thing of the past.

In the last few years there has been an emergence of online original content. In 2012, Google invested $100 million into content creators on Youtube. The result was an unleashing of high quality original content on Youtube that showed many video production, broadcast, and film professionals the potential of online media.

Then, later in 2012, Discovery Digital Networks purchased Revision3 for $30 million dollars.

It would appear as though major networks are beginning to invest in the potential of web TV.

Web is supposed to disrupt cable TV. And maybe it will, one day.

Peter Kafka, All Things D

It is becoming increasingly easy for content creators to start-up a broadcasting station; something that used to require huge sums of money and multiple legal hoops. Anyone with a DSLR and an idea can shoot a film, and anyone with two DSLRs can shoot a TV show.

This fact alone, means that eventually traditional broadcasting will decline. Why? Audiences have fallen in love with the Netflix model. Netflix provides a huge amount of content to users-this is the true future of television. Allowing users to select what to watch, when to watch it, and how much to watch is a freeing experience.

Kevin Spacey‘s speech at the Edinburg Television festival helps prove this point.

The point is simple: give viewers everything, and let the viewers decide. It’s a capitalistic principle applied to television.

One of the more stunning examples of the potential of online media and broadcasting is YouTube’s purchase of the Next New Networks. This seemed like a poor business decision on YouTube’s part; NNN didn’t really have a scalable business model. Investing in Producers to create content is a hard battle to win, a Producer has to form an idea, and people have to invest in a virtually untested, unknown idea or talent. It can be a risky business.

The acquisition of Next New Networks, which produces original programming and helps video creators distribute their films and make money, is YouTube’s biggest leap into creating its own programming.

-Clare Cain Miller, The New York Times

The business model of NNN, however, is morphing. No longer are they investing in creating content; they are now purchasing created content. The same goes for Revision3.

Instead, these companies are purchasing successful content. If you, and several talented friends use your DSLRs to create a 5 minute weekly show, and the show is successful, you may then get ‘produced’ by a larger company.

So what is the future of television? The web will certainly overtake traditional broadcasting, and the process will happen sooner rather than later.

Content is king, not money.