the Next BIG Thing

I got rid of my television services several years ago, just after the last of the kids left. We saw little point in continuing to pay for a service we did not use.

When we had first gotten the little dish, the idea of five hundred channels seemed a bit daunting. The only one I was really interested in was the History Channel and the only one my son was interested in, just like most teenagers, was the Cartoon Network.

My wife anticipated many hours of cruising all the varied content.

It was not very long into the relationship before I discovered that the History channel had a limited number of programs and kept recycling their content on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Every so often, there would be a new program but not often enough to keep that channel on for very long.

My wife went through all the channels offered and decided there was nothing to watch. Oh, every now and then, one of the channels would have some interesting content but for the most part, there was nothing that interested her. The unReality shows and the competitive shows – whether about cooking, weight loss, singing talents, modeling competition – very quickly revealed their formulaic underbellies. The predictable outcomes were far too… well, predictable to hold her interest.

Our son, however, was glued to the Cartoon Network practically 24/7. Many nights it was still playing as he snored away happily, dreaming of anime stick-figures battling it out with steroid-infused vegetables, or some such mayhem.

But most people today do not have the time – at least on the networks schedules – to watch even the shows they like to watch. And so they Tivo (not to be confused with Tebow which an entirely different sort of service) the shows so they can watch them when they want. Some people I know Tivo an entire season before they sit to watch any of the show at all.

And then there are those who like to catch their favorite episodes on the fly and watch it on their computer or handheld device. They can catch the hoops thru Hulu or another service and they can watch episodes whenever they want.

The viewer has been freed from the bondage of the chronometer, but we are still shackled to the content.


But none of this is news. This stuff is olds.

How about if the television services were blown fully open and independent just like music and books? Years ago, people started self-producing their music for distribution through the internet. Then came the self-publishing with the start of the ebook readers.

So, why not independent web-TV stations?

There are many people over at YouTube already producing content as good as the stuff you can see on many satellite TV networks. All they need now is a few good writers to help produce serialized stories that can be bundled and marketed for viewing.

Many can start as small as they want and build up a viewing audience of goodly proportions before they get really good backing and go viral.

It is the wave of the future. And I’ll bet Steve Jobs, or his ghost, will be involved.

And soon, rather than the few hundred channels on satellite, we will have several thousands of viewing networks for me to complain about.

It is something to look forward to.


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