Sep 29, 2014
By Donald Jacques
This spring I anxiously awaited the renewal of Falling Skies. The internet was abuzz with information, about the shows, actors, and even offered past episodes available for viewing, including commercials. I was able to catch up right to the end of the 2nd season. So, I was primed to tune in as often as I could. Episode 1 came and I wasn't home, so I caught it online at a friend's house. I missed the second episode as well, but my friend was still on good terms so I watched #2 online - awsome! Then my friend lost their cable tv.
I didn't think it was an issue. I fired up my laptop at the library, but oops! I wasn't on the cable system anymore. I looked around the website and discovered that unless I had cable service, I could not see the program. The classic double edged sword: internet gave me access to what I could not watch because of timing, but then the cable company locked up the network show. Any hope the network has of expanding their audience died with the contract with the cable company.
The music industry struggled so hard to maintain their strangle hold on content, contracts, and musicians against the push of both technology and people's insatiable thirst for fresh music. Music creation and editing software combined with iTunes and helped break the corporate stranglehold on music content. Smart Phones, their apps, and e-readers did the same for books. Now websites allowing authors to publish their own books in mere hours from completion. The publishing industry is still reeling from that digital explosion.
Now, YouTube, Vimeo and others are doing the same for television content. Already, webisode producers are approaching a level of quality the could very soon compete with the network big boys. And recently, Netflix Emmy nod for their own series, "House of Cards" demonstrates how the digital upstarts are eroding the networks' space.