Online Television – The Best of Both Worlds

With such a wide variety of digital mediums available to us in the present time, it was only a matter of time before somebody started to merge and combine two of them together. It already happened with mobile phones and online social media, as the prevalence of iPhones shows to us. Then there’s the Internet and tv – two distinct mediums; one you use for all of your communication and information needs, the other is maybe more for amusement usage – some thing to sit in front of after a long hard day, allowing you to mentally ‘switch off’. Yet considering how much time in a day we have a tendency to spend in front of a computer nowadays, it’s no surprise that online gurus are benefiting from the prevalence of Series Free Tv and also have generated Internet websites which enable you to choose which TV show or application that you want to watch – on demand.

What is the deal?

In 2006, a new episode of the TV series Lost was aired on the internet – about 11 million viewers it. Also in 2006, market analysts Jupiter Research reported that around 11 percent of computer users regularly watch videos on the internet. A year later, this figure had jumped to 28 percent, and it kept on jumping as each year went by – presumably due a lot to YouTube and its easy accessibility and free videos. Yet even the sites which are charging to their TV shows to be viewed are increasing in popularity as more people spend more time online.

In terms of cost, almost all online tv is absolutely free, utilizing the traditional concept of ads and banner ads to generate their money. The US ABC recently announced they’ll make their shows available to see on line the day after they’ve aired on television, for free. The only real catch is that the commercials scattered amongst the shows will not be able to be paused. These commercials are also limited in amount – probably only three, being one minute in length each – and certainly will be from the same advertiser, no doubt perfecting their influence on the audience watching. You can see how this notion is increasingly attractive to businesses that could afford this kind of major bulk advertising.

But the development has not stopped there. ‘Social television’ is the latest kid on the block, merging the concept of online television using the internet phenomenon that is social media. In a nutshell, it’s TV services that involve audiences’ communication. It’s adding one more thing to the long list of ‘togetherness’ that the Internet is creating. Obviously we have always ‘socialized’ around the concept of TV, even with the simplest form of discussing shows with friends – but the new idea here is television will now be an active practice rather than a passive one. And in a world that seems to be enjoying online and social media with gusto, this would appear to be a concept that is ready to take off.

Gary Vaynerchuk took his multi-million wine selling business to the online world as a way of educating his viewers about wine in a ‘non-stuffy’ way. They even organize offline group gatherings in the tradition of die-hard fan clubs. This is social television at its best – viewers have found something they are interested in, can view and learn about it online, and participate in interactive communities.

The big players

There is a large range of online television websites, besides actual channels’ own websites – the most well-known possibly being Hulu, which ABC, FOX and NBC collectively created to be able to bring television shows to their audiences – with no profit. Available only to US audiences, its popularity likely stems from its availability of hit TV indicates the morning when they’ve aired on normal television. Hulu airs commercials in normal industrial breaks – that the only difference is that you are watching them through the Internet. Another online television channel was 18 Doughty Street, famous in the internet TV world as it claims to be the first British Internet-based television channel. Interestingly, although only running for a little over a year, the TV station closed down in the middle of attempting to create a ‘citizen journalism’ component to its website, allowing the people to submit videos to be broadcasted. Maybe if that had succeeded, it would have been among the initial jobs into the now more commonly accepted notion of social television.

Where to from here

Where does the future lie with this smart combination of two popular mediums? Perhaps soon we’ll see the passing of the standard television as it becomes much easier and cheaper to watch our favourite shows online. Even though some dismiss this notion of internet tv, on account of the association of our PCs with stress and work, instead of the TV as a place to ‘switch off’ and relax whilst viewing our favourite shows. But in a world where we need things here and now, and using a creation on the rise that was multi-tasking digital technology whilst still in nappies, it might make sense that people will soon be expecting quicker and easier-to-use combinations of the planet’s very best mediums. Plus if this can unite with the ‘social’ aspect of the online world that folks so adore, then even better.

Channel surf in the… computer seat?

Require Diggnation for instance. This is a weekly internet television series that was created by the founder of Digg.com (a site where anyone can publish articles, videos and images) and a buddy in 2005, which basically consists of those 2 buddies drinking beer, chatting and talking the top stories which created Digg.com that week. Occasionally referred to as ‘the Wayne’s World for Geeks’, the show has significantly increased its audience numbers through the years. Its prevalence deemed mostly to be its interesting content and ‘I’d be friends with that guy in real life’ hosts. It has gotten so popular that advertisers started approaching them for space on their own show to market. Forums show that people love diggnation since it is applicable, relaxed and really enjoyable. Fans of Digg.com (and there is a lot of these) watch it since that is what it is all about – digg.com.

Which makes you wonder is this in which the future of online TV is going? Countless number of smaller, topic-specific online TV shows that can cause the frequent lament ‘I watched it because there’s nothing else on’ for something of the past. If more and more television shows pop up online as more and more ‘average Joes’ use free Internet space to create them, then surely we will all see our favorite shows there as we all hunt for subjects that really genuinely curiosity us. Or can you and I have our own stations? Will your business? Now there’s an interesting idea…