I remember when I was a kid growing up, I had to wait a week for episodes of one of my favorite shows at the time, “The Wonder Years” to come on. There were a lot of other shows I viewed then during prime time, but this was one that I related with the most.
Enter a few years later, 1999 to be exact when the DVR became available. Now you would still have to wait a week for a new episode to air, but at least you would be prepared to catch it and have the option to skip the commercials. You would also have the option to store your shows on hard disk and watch shows later, at your own leisure.
Enter today. We still have the DVR option, but including in the mix is video streaming. Streaming options from the likes of Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and others, we now can pick and choose “a la carte” style what shows we would want to follow and watch. Part of the fun is the discovery of new and old shows that has been put on and is available instantly. Just the other day, I found the show “ALF” and although this show was popular when I was growing up, I now can watch all the episodes. This concept makes a new breed of television viewers come to light, “The Cord Cutters”.
The cord cutters are folks who have for one reason or another, forgo the cable box or satellite dish to get content. Maybe it’s for prices, maybe they like to pick and choose shows, or maybe they just want to be the first on the block to say to neighbors that they don’t need a content provider. Take that cable box!
But there are some shows that some would be hesitant to get out that cable cutter they got from Walmart. Take the show “Mad Men” for example. Earlier seasons are available on streaming services, but the current season is only viewed on the AMC channel. Actually, you can also buy shows through iTunes to watch as a season pass, as well.
Now, there are some streaming options that in my opinion need a little work. You should be able to use a service without having a cable box with subscribed premium channel to view the stream option. I talking to you, HBO. At least provide an option to pay a certain amount for the people that don’t have the use of a subscribed premium cable box. Then I could finally see “Game of Thrones”, supplementing my imagination when I read the book by George R.R. Martin.
The next thing, which has been happening these few years is that now Netflix and Hulu are helping in creating original programming. Take for example the show “House of Cards“. This show first “aired”?, or “streamed”? in February 2013, providing ALL 13 episodes at one time. This and another example being “Arrested Development”, due out in May 26th, 2013 with reportedly ALL episodes out at one time, are changing the way we watch shows and consuming content. It also changes how independent studios now have more options in production.
I wonder what is in store in the years ahead. Only time will tell.
Until next time…