Hey, did you watch the latest episode of Bytejacker? How about Diggnation? Okay, surely you’ve seen the latest episode of AppJudgement, right? Or maybe you have never even heard of these shows. Welcome to the majority.
They’re all shows on Revision3, an internet television station founded by Digg founder Kevin Rose. The idea was to be like a typical television station, with shows that aired at usual times with episodes at regular intervals, only entirely online and on demand. The result has not been any high calibre shows. The next Mad Men or House has not come out of Revision3, and the revolution of anyone and everyone setting up their own independent online television channels, upending the cable providers and typical media establishment, has not happened. Alas, for Mr. Rose.
Now, you have probably heard of Hulu. Have you watched any of their exclusive content? Did you even know they had original programming? Probably not. It lacks a lot of mindshare. So it is somewhat baffling to hear Netflix’s acquisition of a high budget, exclusive and original television show being heralded as the beginning of the end for cable television. While cable faces some challenges, this latest one, a shot across the bow to be sure, is not even a proven technique, even if this is the largest gamble taken on the idea yet.
While such services certainly could be the future of television, let us not declare cable networks dead before somebody actually succeeds at launching a successful online television program, shall we?