Ever since streaming video became a possibility for how to watch live TV online, industry leaders in both the internet and entertainment fields have had their collective eye on merging TV and online audiences.
YouTube broke ground with user-created videos, and were soon followed by Hulu, Netflix andAmazon Digital Services, respectively. And now, almost simultaneously, all four streaming video services to watch cable TV online are stretching the frontiers of online video by producing exclusive content.
The popularity of YouTube sparked the launch of competing online sites like Hulu (owned by a conglomeration of traditional television networks), Netflix Streaming (an offshoot service of the DVD-by-mail provider) and Amazon Digital Services (a segment of the popular online store).
Online video has always been a secondary source of entertainment. Although YouTube gave a platform for independent content producers to experiment with the form and get their programming out there, nothing had yet compared to the traditional mainstream show model that the television industry has developed for over 70 years.
Now that the online streaming video platform to watch cable TV online has been tested and proven to be popular, these companies are all taking a step forward into producing their own original content.
These choices and more may make the difference in the overall success of each original programming outlet, and the viability of internet TV as a whole. The internet television revolution is coming, and we’re witnessing the very first wave. It remains to be seen which of these companies will be able to manage the balance between the quality original programming that will attract viewers and the production costs.
Original content hasn’t quite yet reached the levels of what you’ll see during primetime on major networks. But pulling in Hollywood talent, stretching to meet niche interests and increasing investment is a step in the right direction. With a growing generation of television viewers used to having its shows on demand, and platforms that are dedicated to how to watch live TV online, we may not be very far off from regularly tuning into our tablets instead of our big screens.