“The money has spoken: These three tech companies [Apple, Facebook, and Google] — along with a fourth, Amazon, which has already successfully cracked the code of producing original entertainment — are among the richest entities on Earth,” Steven Levy writes for Wired. “Meanwhile, another Silicon Valley company, Netflix, has… become one of the most successful entertainment producers on the planet.”
“The rush into scripted video by tech giants is going to accelerate an evolution of entertainment that’s already underway. We’re already moving away from the idea that drama is a 60-minute exercise with four bathroom breaks,” Levy writes. “Internet-centric companies have already begun changing the rules with binge-watching, flexible running times, fewer commercials, and crowd-sourced content. The brainpower—and just plain power—of the most valued tech firms will change things even more.”
“From where I sit, this is the beginning of the third era of video entertainment—what we used to call ‘TV.’ I am old enough to have grown up glued to a screen offering only three alternatives, each of which was an all-powerful national network that seemed permanently ensconced in the entertainment stratosphere,” Levy writes. “No one predicted that small systems built to provide signal transit to communities with poor reception would topple that regime. But as cable companies moved from rural to urban areas—dramatically expanding the number of available channels and dropping the price to reach a wider public—a revolution began.”
“Just as the cable revolution overturned broadcast, the net is destined to become the dominant mode of video, both in terms of transit and programming. The cable industry is seemingly protected by its built-in local monopolies, but as broadband connections proliferate — by now rendering the copper cable connection almost obsolete — the only thing propping up the status quo is a business arrangement that bundles channels together for a steep price,” Levy writes. “As more people cut the cord—and as smaller bundles become more popular—we will reach a tipping point that sees the collapse of cable…”
Read more in the full article here.
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