Allow me to start this by saying: If you haven’t seen the TV show ‘Community’ then you are missing out on some quality programming. It is not only a funny TV show but the acting is brilliant and the writing is almost always top-notch. Despite their lacklustre fourth season recently it was renewed for a fifth season by NBC however, in their ‘wisdom’, they decided not to renew it for a sixth.
Cue heartbreak by countless fans of Community (myself included)
But wait? What’s that on the horizon?
Yes it’s the sight of another nail in the coffin of traditional broadcast television.
Community is getting a new lease on life.
So who did this?
Netflix? Or perhaps it was Hulu?
Nope. It was Yahoo.
Yahoo? Seriously? Yup! Turns out that Yahoo has an entire department known as ‘Yahoo Screen‘ which seems to be a repository of clips from around the internet and various TV shows. Whilst Yahoo does have a ‘Yahoo Originals’ page it was only, until recently, composed of documentaries. Only in the last few months have Yahoo talked about pulling a Netflix, Hulu or Amazon and commissioning full series television programs.
So we now have another player to the internet enabled television in the form of Yahoo. The question, however, is where is Google in all of this?
YouTube Original Channel Initiative V2.0 ‘Electric Boogaloo’
How is it that Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and now Yahoo have all made a play for the serialised content market (aka TV shows) but Google hasn’t?
Remember that Google owns YouTube….the most popular video site on the web. More than a billion people use YouTube so they don’t have a server issue and they’re more than optimised for mobile (the future of content consumption). So why aren’t we seeing Big Red (red…the YouTube logo is red) take on Netflix? Hulu? Or Amazon?
Well they’ve actually tried it before (kind of). In July 2012 Google unveiled ‘YouTube Originals’ as part of their Google TV initiative. Whilst Google invested 200 million dollars into the campaign and produced 60 channels they shut the program in November 2013.
However it seems that Google is throwing off their love of binary and trying a third time to push into the TV market.
At last weeks Google I/O Developer Conference Google unveiled their take on the Apple TV.
ABC, NBC, CBS, Google TV?
So the new Android TV provides you with a great resource to connect to your favourite apps such as Netflix or Hulu but it also paves the way for Google to release their own original content. Netflix saw their subscriber base jump with every new piece of original content. With the critically acclaimed House of Cards they made their money back in only 3 months from new subscriptions alone. Piraters have long stated that they are willing to pay for content if it is delivered to them seamlessly and at a fair price. With Google Fibre rolling out across the US (albeit slowly) and faster internet speeds becoming the norm then there is no technological reason why we cannot have a channel of original YouTube content. In fact Google’s recent purchase of Twitch could pave the way for a dedicated gaming channel of original content.
So are we entering a brave new world where the dinosaurs of ABC, NBC and CBS die whilst all of the critically acclaimed shows will make their way onto streaming services. Is Yahoo’s purchase of Community a one off or the start of a bold attempt to take on the Netflix and Hulu hegemony?
Let us know in the comments!