How Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Facebook, and Google will hasten the next era of TV

“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.

MacDailyNews Take: If you haven’t done so yet, cut the cord! Let’s get this party started ASAP!

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  1. Impossible for me to cut the cord whilst Sky and BT have premier league football in the UK. With all the other channels you get in order to have the football. Its hard to justify regularly paying for other services as well. I dip into netflix for a month here and there but unless you watch very little or are happy with a subset of what’s available it’s still going to add up

  2. “We’re already moving away from the idea that drama is a 60-minute exercise with four bathroom breaks,”

    Here on the UK,we’ve been there since the late 1940s. If the BBC shows a 60 min drama, it occupies a 60 min time slot with no breaks. Movies are also shown on the BBC with no breaks at all, even if it’s a couple of hours long.

    Most movies have not been scripted with regular advertising breaks in mind, so putting frequent ad breaks into a movie can be very intrusive and disruptive. At least with dramas made for television, it’s often the case that they might have planned an opportunity for an ad-break every so often, even if it’s commissioned foe a channel which does not have commercial breaks.

    1. The closest we have in the USA are broadcast/cable PBS (Public Broadcasting System) channels and paid cable channels (HBO, Showtime, etc.) But see below regarding an app that allows users to watch (shhh) your same programming while (shhh) not actually being in your same *cough* vicinity. 😉

  3. Of related interest:

    CloudTV app for Mac:

    It provides the easiest way I know of to watch TV channels streaming on the Internet. I’m astounded how its developer has provided access to so many channels, including many that, ahem, we’re not supposed to get-there-from-here for various territorial reasons. It’s almost as good as connecting to a VPN server in your TV programming country of choice.

    Since the release of the app, the developer has exponentially increased the list of available channels, which reflects both his ingenuity AND the fact that the ratty old days of ‘cable only’ programming access is falling away, making ‘cutting the cable’ all the more enjoyable. $11. Free trial. My favorite Mac app of 2017 (so-far).

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