I remember the good old days when I used to have to get up and fix the rabbit-ear antennas on my television set. We had to turn the knob to change the channel until one day cable was affordable enough for us all to enjoy. Finally! We had a remote control to flip through a new fantastic library of channels. The infrastructure required for this to happen was under my radar, as well as many other customers who watched Hollywood unfold into this huge monstrosity.
Cable was a place where you could have a channel dedicated to an entire subject. You had news networks, sports networks, history, and SCI-FI. However cable television was fundamentally changed once audiences got their first taste of reality TV. Soon after Hollywood spun out of control when YouTube hit the scene and everyone could have a channel dedicated to themselves.
Although people will occasionally tune in to a do-it-yourself house remodel or pause mid-scroll to see that delicious meal pop out of the oven, the cable networks are quickly loosing their viewers to streaming services like YouTube. The infrastructure is again changing and unfolding into an even larger monster than the one before it. The infrastructure is simple enough, in fact Amazon even has a package that will enable you to bypass the cable network altogether. Really all one has to do is subscribe to a cable and phone network and they can watch anything they want. But what do they want to watch?
We are watching anyone and everyone. The truth is that most people have access to the technology that was once a fantasy far far away in Hollywood. We can build a channel or even a network online using YouTube or similar services. It is not uncommon for some shows to transition from YouTube to Netflix, or vice versa. The streaming services that Amazon, Netflix and YouTube are offering are seriously jeopardizing the cable networks. In addition, Facebook is going to start making it’s own original content to compete with Snapchat’s shows, and YouTube just announced that they’re going to start streaming ESPN sports which will be the final nail in the coffin of cable television if they don’t do something.
It is an amazing time to be alive and witness such power being wielded by the masses. It gives me gratification to see reality TV ridden channels like MTV sink because people are taking their music videos back through karaoke, in apps like Snapchat and musical.ly. Not to mention Spotify and SoundCloud are enabling any musician to grasp the power of the record industries. Also Amazon is going to roll out a next generation of Alexa with a TV screen on it.
Ultimately it warms my heart to realize that each individual has access to what was once unobtainable Hollywood magic. In my opinion people have little reason NOT to start something up themselves. If there can be a channel for everything, then people can have a channel for doing anything. So go build a studio with your smart phone, and see if you have what it takes to be a star. Who knows? I may just tune in.