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Will the Internet Replace TV?


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#1
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Web shows have been around for a long time, BUT they have ALWAYS been 1-5 minute shorts, most of which have no real plot or characterization, and only exist to "be funny". But now some web shows are starting to have longer episodes, and there are even some 22-minute shows that are being released on the internet. However, these are all low-budget productions; only a very small percentage of entertainment distributed exclusively on the web is of true professional production quality.

 

I want to direct my own animated series with as much creative freedom as possible. I am most passionate about creating high-quality shows with half-hour-long episodes. Even today, the only way to make that possible is to work my way up in the TV industry. Believe me, I've done my research and I've talked to a lot of people in the industry. The TV (and especially animation) industry is rarely the big, super fun, rainbows-and-unicorns workplace that I always thought it was. You often have to sacrifice your creative freedom because of TV executives, among other things I won't go too far into.

 

Also, at least on TV it's easier for people to find your show. You have a higher chance of creating a popular TV series than creating a popular web series, because TV is considered a more recognizable and "legitimate" form of entertainment. On the internet it's not about quality, or networking, or any of that - it really is just happenstance; nearly everything popular on the internet became popular by coincidence (this is why a lot of the most popular content online is just memes and cat videos). This makes it really hard to make a living by making web content. Look, I love making art and animation, so money isn't that important to me. But damn, I don't want to be one of those sad "artists" who can only work at Starbucks because they can't make a living off their creative projects.

 

Now, I see more and more people saying that they "don't watch TV". However, most of these people do watch TV shows on sites like Hulu and Netflix. They're not watching web shows, they're just watching entertainment made for TV that can also be watched online. I've heard of a few half-hour web shows that are released exclusively on sites like Hulu, but they just don't have the same outreach that actual TV shows have.

 

This article explains that nothing will ever replace TV, but this article says that the Internet will eventually supersede television. I'm not sure which one to believe. This is especially considering my own arguments that no matter what, budgets, good production teams and making a living are hard to pull off when it comes to entertainment made for the web. Even with sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, it's really hard to make it happen. I'll be out of college in like 3 years; I highly doubt the entertainment industry will switch to the Internet in that amount of time. So, I'm not sure if I should pursue TV or web entertainment, and I'm starting to feel lost.

 

But I'm just rambling. So anyway... Will the TV Series ever be replaced by the Web Series? How will this transition even happen? TV is a HUGE industry that won't go down without a fight. Meanwhile, the internet is NOT a huge business when it comes to the web series (especially web shows with half-hour long episodes, which are rarely as popular as their 3-minute long counterparts).


Edited by Username, 01 March 2013 - 01:15 AM.

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#2
Alric

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As soon as costs come down TV is gone. The quality of web stuff is usually only bad in that they don't have a huge budget. If you go dollar per dollar then web shows are often of comparable quality. The problem is that a web show with a budget of "my free time" can't compete with a million dollar budget.

 

However as technology improves the production costs of everything is going down a lot. So low budget stuff is getting better and better. I think one area this is very clear is with games. Nearly anyone can make free games on the internet and some are very fun. Drawing takes a little more talent however, so it hasn't taken off as much as games, though it is still easier to draw now that in the past. You don't need an entire studio to produce your own animated video anymore, and there is cg stuff than can make things a lot faster and easier as well.

 

Of course if you are going to do all hand drawn stuff, that still takes a lot of time.

 

Overall I don't think there is any reason to stress over your decisions that much. From an art perspective there probably isn't a massive difference between tv or web entertainment. Any skill set you learn from one can probably be applied to the other, so there is likely ample chances to switch between the two. So don't feel like you need to choose one or the other.

 

In the future it will be important to be flexible and able to adapt to new technologies. So being able to learn something and apply it to new situations is important.



#3
kjaggard

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Well TV is pretty much not used in the traditional sense here anymore. We have a few, some use it for gaming and occasionally I'll use net flix through it and watch a movie or documentary.


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#4
Casey

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The future influence of the internet compared to television is a hard question to answer, but far as the present day goes, I do think that it's easier for individual series to find success online than you do and that it's not a completely random process. It's true that many internet stars achieve their fame by posting something so over the top it's guaranteed to garner attention (LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE), but there's also countless examples of people becoming popular and well-known more honestly; I regularly visit a few Youtube channels myself belonging to ordinary guys and girls whose videos consistently get views in the tens and hundreds of thousands, that have gradually built up such popularity by virtue of simply being charismatic people and prolific uploaders.

 

Personally, my guess is that uploading your series online would be the better option. The real world in general can be a massive pain in the ass, and even if you somehow manage to get your idea accepted by a television station, there's always the risk of them screwing with your artistic vision (making the whole experience a bitter one rather than fulfilling) or of the series being cancelled prematurely. If you post it online, though, your story can be presented precisely the way you want it to be, down to the minutest detail. So long as you possess your own webspace and the ability to create the story and bring your ideas to life, there are no other hurdles to contend with. I think some level of success and popularity is almost a given if your product is a good one. Numerous webcomics became popular during the late 1990s and very early 2000s, and if web media could become hugely profitable in the days where the internet was "that nerdy thing only computer-obsessed weirdos use much," it certainly holds potential in 2013, where the internet has become an accepted part of everyday life and man's second best friend.



#5
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Yes, it is already replacing TV.



#6
StanleyAlexander

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The internet won't completely replace TV in 3 years, that's true.  But what about in 10? or 20?  Your career will be longer than that, right?  Go with the internet, and above all, be adaptable and open-minded (like Alric said ^).

 

That's why TV won't be able to keep up: those hated executives you mentioned are running an industry that's been built up over more than half a century.  It has too much inertia to be as flexible as the internet market, which is still being invented.  There's just so much more potential there.  My opinion.


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#7
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House of cards butchers more than half the stuff on TV today and its a web series. HBO and cinemax are having trouble because of competing internet shows. By 2015 the average camera will be 2008 hd movie quality, meaning anyone could make a TV quality web show. I just don't see traditional TV lasting. 


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#8
Italian Ufo

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Thats already  happening for me and for many. At least since 2010.



#9
midnightr

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I haven't watched TV for a long time. I think networks will still exist, but their content won't be on the TV. Most people will use on demand services like Netflix, hulu, iPlayer. Networks will have their own on demand services (for instance cbs already put their shows on their website). Traditional TV as we know it won't exist in the near future. 

 

 

House of cards butchers more than half the stuff on TV today and its a web series. HBO and cinemax are having trouble because of competing internet shows. By 2015 the average camera will be 2008 hd movie quality, meaning anyone could make a TV quality web show. I just don't see traditional TV lasting. 

 

 

To be fair good quality TV costs a lot of money. House of cards is a perfect example with its 100 million $ price tag. Average people can't make TV shows like that, you're pretty limited in what you can do. 


Edited by midnightr, 04 March 2013 - 12:17 AM.


#10
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House of cards butchers more than half the stuff on TV today and its a web series. HBO and cinemax are having trouble because of competing internet shows. By 2015 the average camera will be 2008 hd movie quality, meaning anyone could make a TV quality web show. I just don't see traditional TV lasting. 

 

 

To be fair good quality TV costs a lot of money. House of cards is a perfect example with its 100 million $ price tag. Average people can't make TV shows like that, you're pretty limited in what you can do. 

Sorry I meant pixel for pixel people can go toe to toe with network cameras. From there its up to creativity in which generally Hollywood has the edge because they can just pay for props,lighting, actors, and directors. 

But with the drop in price it only takes a computer wiz with a low budget compete with the big guys.

examples from today: red vs blue, paranormal activity, kung pow to name a few


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#11
StanleyAlexander

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I bet TV will still be around for a long time, kind of the way the radio is today... it's an easy way to be spoon-fed information.  Being able to easily choose what to watch at any time is nice, and I'm sure platforms like that will see a lot of success, but sometimes you don't want to choose.  Sometimes you want to be spoon-fed.

 

That said, the internet has potential to be infinitely more powerful, versatile, reaching, responsive, relevant, and at least 6 more adjectives than TV.


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#12
GailG

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I don't think so internet will replace TV. There are still things we can do or see by using our Television than sitting infront in our desktop pc's


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#13
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However as technology improves the production costs of everything is going down a lot. So low budget stuff is getting better and better. However as technology improves the production costs of everything is going down a lot. Nearly anyone can make free games on the internet and some are very fun.

Well, there's still the issue of labor costs. Animation is, and SHOULD be, a very labor-intensive and time-consuming medium. It's both an art and entertainment, so I'm wholly against technology replacing people in that regard. And, the fact that anyone can just make a cartoon and post it online, while not a bad thing, devalues animation (and I suppose gaming) as a job. I've heard from an animator who was offered a paltry $100 to animate 22 minutes of content. And this isn't just one instance; most freelance work is highly underpaid because clients think that animation is "easy" and intrinsically not worth very much. It's easy to believe this when there are literally millions of home-made cartoons online.

 

However, the reality is that most animators won't accept any less than $1,000 per minute of completed footage. (I think that's the industry standard for payment). That rate at the very least covers the hours that goes into producing 1,440 images for a minute's worth of video, and it's still pretty low pay, depending on the project. For example, if I were to make a 15-minute cartoon (which would probably take me 1 to 2 years to complete by myself), and I was paid $1,000 per minute, I'd have only made $15,000 out of a year's worth of animating for like 9 hours a day. And if it were released online and monetized with ads, it still wouldn't pay much because it's really hard to get any more than $1 for every 1,000 views on sites like YouTube.

 

Now, crowd source funding like Kickstarter has shown a lot of potential, and it may become the biggest way to fund projects and cover labor costs within a few years. However, Kickstarter it's still, and always will be, merely a gamble.

 

 It's true that many internet stars achieve their fame by posting something so over the top it's guaranteed to garner attention (LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE), but there's also countless examples of people becoming popular and well-known more honestly; I regularly visit a few Youtube channels myself belonging to ordinary guys and girls whose videos consistently get views in the tens and hundreds of thousands, that have gradually built up such popularity by virtue of simply being charismatic people and prolific uploaders. ...and if web media could become hugely profitable in the days where the internet was "that nerdy thing only computer-obsessed weirdos use much," it certainly holds potential in 2013, where the internet has become an accepted part of everyday life and man's second best friend.

Yeah, I've heard A LOT of people say that it's not marketing or social networking that will get your content noticed online; you simply need to create content that people want to see. I really want to agree with this, but it still feels kind of vague. I've seen some great content that gets no attention, and even my highest quality work is in the land of online obscurity. Either it really is based on pure luck, or I'm just not as good as I think I am haha.

 

Also, your last sentence gives me a lot of hope. The internet sure has come a long way. However, it's still a fairly new technology, and it still has nowhere to go but up from here. I definitely think that plenty of new opportunities will come within the next 10 years, which will make it easier to pursue online content creation as a career.

 

I bet TV will still be around for a long time, kind of the way the radio is today... it's an easy way to be spoon-fed information.  Being able to easily choose what to watch at any time is nice, and I'm sure platforms like that will see a lot of success, but sometimes you don't want to choose.  Sometimes you want to be spoon-fed.

 

That said, the internet has potential to be infinitely more powerful, versatile, reaching, responsive, relevant, and at least 6 more adjectives than TV.

I actually really like this comparison. Really, there is NO logical reason for the radio to still be around today. We've seen CD's, MP3 Players/smartphones/tablets, and the internet all give humanity a good reason to stop using the radio. And yet there's still no end in site. So, I think it's safe to say that Television will not just up and die. But I can actually see the TV becoming just like the radio: "That thing that some people turn on occasionally just because".


Edited by Username, 08 March 2013 - 06:46 PM.

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#14
Alric

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I think people mostly listen to the radio when they are doing stuff where they can't watch tv. Such as driving a car, you can't watch a tv screen because you will crash and die, so you listen to the radio instead. Also I know some people who listen to the radio while doing house work and stuff, because they are not in the same room to watch an entire show on tv.

 

I don't think there are many people who sit on the couch and relax while listening to the radio like they might have done back in the day though.



#15
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I don't think it will realistically happen soon. Also, I think it will also highly depend on where you are situated in the world in terms of region. For example, Canada is quite a bit behind in terms of TV being accessible on the internet. Aside from Netflix here, there isn't a big central resource like Hulu, and even then Netflix is very limited in what they offer. Amazon is just starting to deploy their digital content here in preparation for the launch of the Kindle Fire in Canada. All these things are more widely available elsewhere.  A large part of why this is all taking so long is bandwidth. When Netflix was first introduced here, the cable/satellite companies balked and tried to introduce high caps, limit bandwidth and charge people more. Bell for example was pretty much. "We own the backbone that your cable uses, there's nothing you can do but pay us!" and tried to take it hostage and impose ridiculous limits. It fortunately didn't fly. Things are getting better,  and we're just starting to get to the level where everyone is. Anyway, my point is that while it certainly is a novel idea, there are some parts of the world that have to take big steps to even get to the point of it being viable.


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#16
Markomarkh

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All I can say is, Internet has replaced tv for me, I hate the program's on tv these days, all it is is reality tv program's like dancing on ice and xfactor and the like for the last 8 years, bbc news repeat the same boring news everyday, nothing interesting rarely happens on tv these days, with the Internet I can watch what I like, I like to watch documentaries on science and technology and more interesting things than average tv! The only tv I watch is when neighbours comes on that's about it. I think tv was first invented to brain wash the public, now we have Internet we have a heck of a lot more choice to watch!

#17
stuffed_leader

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I don't think so internet will replace TV. There are still things we can do or see by using our Television than sitting infront in our desktop pc's

 

 You have heard of smart TV's right?


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#18
Jake Epping

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As soon as costs come down TV is gone. 

 

The TV industry knows this. It is in the processes of adapting.

It's pretty amazing thinking about how long television has continued without changing much of the way that it works - but now it finally has to evolve because of the threat of the internet.

 

While plenty of people watch television content on a laptop its not the most comfortable experience. While this may be acceptable for students or people who live alone, it isn't for families. Nobody has set up a couch behind it as a permanent fixture. The television still has its place in the house as the primary screen in the living room, and broadcasters are going to do everything they can to keep it that way by merging television and the internet.
 
All TV is going to connected online. And ways in which its going to develop is in two main ways:

 

1. On-demand content

2. Social TV
 
1. On-demand content: Today the general trend is that people want freedom of choice. Nobody buys TV guides anymore because don't schedule their lives around the TV schedule. Because of the internet you can watch what you want when you want. When people say they don't watch TV anymore, they still watch a lot of content produced for television like sitcoms, drama and news reports, they just don't watch it live on the correct channel. They watch it online at their own convenience. Smart TV's are going to be the default. You can pick and choose the show or program you want to watch when you want to.
 
2. Social TV: TV's real magic is that it has never really been meant to be used by individuals. Its a social tool meant to be shared, it engages conversation and social behavior. All those times you ever decided to watch TV, wasn't it always involving other people? Don't you ever talk about what you watched? Did you ever host video or TV nights for events such as sports or elections? Or don't you prefer to watch sports in a bar? When a movie or interview was on TV did you ever pick up the phone or skype with a friend to comment about what was going on?
Or, do you ever use a social network or a forum at the same time you watch a TV show? Do you tweet about what an idiot Don Draper is or read a forum of guys discussing the latest episode of Game of Thrones as its being broadcast?
 
The TV industry wants to focus on seamless social interaction as the new  way of watching TV in order to keep it relevant. Has anyone ever heard of "the second screen"? It s a buzzword in the TV industry that refers to the fact that most people watching TV are now going to have a smartphone or tablet in their hand. They are trying to combine that with television content in three main ways:
 
a) While watching a TV show or movie, an app is timed to display extra information for the show as specific times (something like the BBC's red button content)
b) Additional viewpoints (in the Oscars they had different camera angles available)
c) Chatting tool. People plugged into social networks or forums allowing you to bullshit about whats going on with either with the show's creators or other viewers. 
 
The idea of Social TV is that they want to integrate social networking into television so that it becomes the new normal method of watching television. 

 

Of course you can already do this all now on the internet - but TV is still going to be the big screen in your living room that you can just turn on and sit back on the couch. Obviously however, the biggest problem with all these changes is the basic one - wow are they going to make money from it? On demand means people will skip adverts and destroy the concept of prime time. Also, because of downloads, people are less willing to pay for their media content anyway. And how do you share on demand content? its easy for live broadcasts for premiers and sports but what if I want to watch Arrested Development right now how do you make that social? I suppose you could invite other people to join you on your personal network. 

 
And what about user-made content? I don't know. I don't imagine networks will solicit input from everyday Joes anytime soon but continue to trust the industry professionals and proven guys like JJ Abrams. If people make it big on social media they can get picked up or sponsored (like Happy Tree Friends). 
 

What do you guys think about the social TV concept? Do you find it interesting? What would you expect from it?  Does it have a serious flaw?

If I could make a poll in this thread I would be interested to know how many people still prefer old TV viewing habits. 


#19
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#20
FutureOfToday

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Yes. The BBC are already trialling iPlayer-only programmes.




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