The Beatles changed music. CNN changed the news. Superman: the Movie
changed comic book movies. Sony changed video games. Bill Cosby changed the racial image of comedy.
Another media revolution is underway. It used to just be reruns of older TV shows you could watch online via pay services like Netflix and Hulu. Now there are shows like House of Cards, Daredevil, and Fuller House, shows created specifically for internet programs and you can’t find them on TV. Although who knows? Maybe some of them will be rerun on TV at some point. Many believe that this is the future, that TV is dying and that the money you spend on your cable bill will be transferred entirely to your choice of which of these web programs you choose. Already the major sports leagues, for instance, have their own versions that allow you to watch games live through the internet or re-watch some of your favorites of the past.
Whether TV is dying or not, I’ll leave to history. I’m going to compare it to the new online version of TV and offer my opinion of which is the better way to watch shows.
Cable TV allows you to watch shows as they come on. If there are specific shows you want to watch, you have to know when they come on. If you pay more, DVR enables you to set your TV to record.
Web shows are more convenient. No need to worry about the time they come on. They’re just there. Also, you pick the episode you watch. And if the Netflix precedent is followed, all the episodes will be available on day one as this option becomes more mainstream. Getting to pick the episodes without buying the series separately is a very underrated feature.
Conclusion: this change is good. People may feel uncomfortable with the unfamiliarity of watching shows on your computer, phone, tablet, or video game console, but the convenience probably makes it preferable. Sure, online traffic in your area can slow down your web show, but that will improve constantly as bandwidth and internal speed grows. Things are moving in the direction they should be — towards viewer choice. Binge on!