Hat Tip: Big Hollywood
The LA Times has a excellent article on how internet streaming is changing the old TV syndication system. (the same system that first brought Robotech to the masses in 1985)
Television production studio executives long have been wary of Hulu and other forms of Internet distribution, fearing they would lead to increased piracy and destroy lucrative secondary markets, including syndication and DVD sales. But video streaming services offered by Netflix, Hulu and Amazon.com are becoming an unexpected boon to the TV syndication market. By writing checks to license library content from networks, the Internet services are injecting new revenue into the TV business and breathing new life into middling shows.
John Nolte of Big Hollywood has a great point.“The introduction of the subscription video-on-demand platform has broadened the opportunities for exploitation of product in a very positive way for consumers and studios,” said Ken Werner, president of Warner Bros. domestic television distribution. “You do not need to accumulate 100 episodes of a series because 40 hours of programming is a lot, so many of these shows work perfectly well on these new services.”
As many of you know Robotech is heavily serialized like the above shows as well.
Something the article does miss, though, is how television marathons and DVD have also altered our viewing habits. We like to gorge now, watch more than just a single episode at a time and lose ourselves in that world for hours. This is one reason serialized dramas such as “Mad Men,” “24,” “Breaking Bad,” and the like are such favorites. These shows are addictive — in the best way.
Robotech does very well on the streaming services since it has a strong fanbase and long running serialized storyline that feeds right into what these streaming services customers demand. It's also a low cast way to bring in new fans to the show as well.
The Internet is also going to be a new boon for older shows; I’m talking “Wagon Train” and “Father Knows Best” — the kinds of shows studios probably don’t think are worth the investment of printing up on DVD. But today these older shows can be monetized via a streaming provider with almost no cost involved in making them accessible that way.
The real winner, of course, is the customer. The very narrow distribution filter controlled by a very few (most of them out-of-touch Hollywoodists) is going the way of the buggy whip. The choices we enjoy now will only multiply over time and the ability we now have to program and schedule our own “Must-See TV”