With the rate at which technology improves, it isn’t surprising that the entertainment world as we know it is changing. Traditional media delivery systems are finding there markets quickly eroding as many of us are turning to the internet for our entertainment needs. As pricing and infrastructure for high speed internet has improved, it has led to an explosion in online media.
Cable companies are beginning to see a decline in viewer-ship. That six o-clock news show that dad used to watch on the television each night can now be viewed anytime, on demand, from his home computer. When it comes time for junior to research his science project, online documentaries or other online media make it easy to find the information he needs. With services like Apple’s iTunes, which allows you to download movies, music, or television shows (at a cost), cable is becoming less of a necessity for our entertainment needs.
It doesn’t stop there though. What about that weekly call to Grandma’s house? Traditional means of communicating would have you dial a number on your phone, and then pay for the long distance charges on your monthly phone bill. With many services like skype offering free video calling features, internet video is even beginning to compete with traditional phone services. Instead of incurring that monthly bill to talk, suddenly you are on a two-way video conference with grandma, and best of all; it’s free!
What about that great new movie that you missed in theatre? No longer is it necessary to run down to your local movie store to rent it. (If your anything like me you probably will forget to return it and incur late charges anyway.) There are a wealth of online services that will allow you to rent or buy that blockbuster hit through digital download. Services like; Amazon’s Unbox, CinemaNow, and Movielink, are beginning to take a bite out of traditional video rental business. If you spend more of your time on the go, you can even download the movie through the internet connection on your cell phone.
The internet has changed the way we communicate, the way we learn, and now it is changing the entertainment industry as a whole. As sites like YouTube, or any of the other aforementioned sites, begin to change the way we are entertained, traditional media companies who are not open to change are going to be left behind. Although there are many unknowns as this new method of content delivery grows — such as regulations, copyright protection, and a host of other issues — traditional methods of media delivery are suddenly being challenged by digital video online.
What will become of traditional methods of entertainment delivery is yet to be seen, but today in this beginning of the online media explosion, this is where the future of communication and entertainment starts. Already it is being said that online video is responsible for ten percent of all internet traffic. In the next decade I think we will begin to see the move to all media being delivered through the internet.