We all remembered when MTV famously played the music video “Video Killed the Radio Star” over and over when the service first aired. On air radio remains a mainstay because it is one of the few information and entertainment services one can access and enjoy while working, driving or working. However, video streaming does have the potential to kill TV services for several reasons. This is why stations like HBO are changing and tech companies from YouTube to Amazon are altering how they do business.
Content You Can’t Find Anywhere Else
YouTube, Amazon and Netflix have free content available on demand while other movies and shows require you to pay per episode. They try to differentiate themselves by not offering the same catalog of movies and TV shows.
Partially in response to licensing rights that were a legal mess to get approved when Amazon and Netflix tried to license American TV shows abroad, they started curating their own content and creating their own shows. For example, you can only find the modern remake of “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Fuller House” on Netflix while “Transparent” is only on Amazon Prime.
Amazon picked up “The Grand Tour”, the new version of Top Gear, after BBC stupidly canceled its highest rated show. Top Gear fans can watch more than a decade of Top Gear episodes through Amazon Prime, too. Netflix went global by curating shows like “The 3%”, a dystopian show set in in Brazil whose actors speak Portuguese. Curating their own, unique content helps each streaming service by giving them something that you can only find there.
Accommodating the Watch on Demand Crowd
Mobile devices, DVR and TV shows recorded on PCs allow far more audience members to watch TV when they want to. Some shows accommodate this trend by letting you watch their shows through streaming media service just a day or two after they air, like “The Walking Dead” on AMC showing up on Amazon Prime several days later.
Other shows wait until the season is over before uploading a whole season to a streaming service, like The Americans showing up on Amazon Prime after the final episode airs. Having whole seasons available like this has the side benefit of letting people who just fell in love with a TV show catch up with the story line via binge watching whether on a tablet or PC – and helping the show producers make money in the process.
Different streaming media services accommodate video demand in different ways. YouTube has taken care to offer an interface that lets people like videos without using their bandwidth, watch snippets before selecting to download the video and interact as much as possible via free Bluetooth. This is why YouTube is spreading so quickly in areas where people cannot afford a $100 a year subscription or waiting hours to download one movie.
The demand for on-demand service and viewing anywhere is so strong that HBO created its own app, HBO Go, while CBS has the CBS All Access app.
Local TV Online
One of the reasons why people don’t cut the cord is that sometimes customers want local news and other content that major video streaming services don’t provide. To meet this need, VIDGO is the first streaming service to integrate PBS and local television into its service. VIDGO is the only streaming service to integrate local television channels into its stream, though it also offers movies. This differs from channel specific apps like CBS All Access because you can watch any and all local channels through VIDGO. It offers a cloud based DVR, as well, for recording local shows for viewing later on a mobile device.
Video streaming services are altering mainstream TV by forcing them to accommodate the users who want to watch TV shows on demand, whether TV channels do this through their own branded apps or through a third party video streaming service. Each video streaming service is curating its own unique content as well as trying to offer content that isn’t available on other sites. While local TV is not offered on most video streaming services, services like VIDGO are trying to change that by allowing users to access live local television and sports events. It is definitely a brave new world for the TV industry and major TV networks will be forced to eventually evolve, or die.