Is the Internet the future?

File under: Ramblings

No. Will it ever replace television? In the same way that TV “replaced” radio, yeah, it’ll replace it. File-sharing sites experiance great popularity when exchanging TV shows and movies. FOX’s 24 has gained MANY new fans, especially overseas, because of illegal file sharing.

When WB accidentially cut out the cliffhanger of one of their hit shows this past May, in addition to multiple repeats on the network, they had the finale in it’s entirety on their website. More and more places are adding online video. And in a unique blend of radio and internet, podcasts are beginning increasingly popular. More and more, we live in a very on-demand age.

As CNN readies to launch multiple online streams, AOL experianced a major endorsement of the on-demand age over the weekend with the Live 8 concerts. 5 million people click on AOL to see the concerts throughout the day on Saturday, compared to 2.9 who watched a highlight package on ABC television. (though, in all honesty, it was a Saturday night, and that never attracts viewers on ANY channel)

There are far too many benefits of an on-demand streaming culture. For instance, when yours truely was busy working during the Presidential debates, he watched them in installments when he could fit them in. I could have them on during the background while doing other stuff on the computer. I could turn them off whenever I wanted, pause, come back, rewind, ect.. Now, there is something to be said for seeing it live, but having them on-demand is a tremendous advantage.

Now, the web will never overtake television. For as popular as the downloads are, shows such as CSI, Desperate Housewives, Survivor, and Lost, still draw HUGE viewers on their respective nights. (and if you miss an episode, you can wait for repeats, or wait for the DVD set!)

As the internet continues to evolve to provide more and more services to people, on-demand shows and movies will continue to grow in popularity. While paid services are still a economical way to conduct business (as streaming is NOT cheap, by any means!), whichever network decides to put up an episode of their most popular show on the web for free each week, a night or two after it’s premiere, would be very wise.

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