The Destruction of Television

WVFF Guest Blogger
Hank Green

There seem to be two camps on this debate. One half says that the internet is going to kill television, the other says that the internet is going to make television much better and even more profitable. It seems that we’ve learned nothing from centuries of media outlets becoming less relevant.

Radio didn’t kill the stage, television didn’t kill radio, and the internet didn’t kill newspapers. Old media doesn’t die, it just become less relevant. I learned that from Jon Webber, owner of NewWest.net and one of my favorite professors, before I even knew what YouTube was.

It’s amazing how well the TV industry has ignored the lessons of music and newspapers. The simple fact is, everyone now has access to the equipment and distribution channels that were so unattainable just five years ago.

What’s really going to hurt television is the creation of a long-tail in video content. People will be able to watch whatever they want whenever they want and just as newspapers found out, people will produce that long-tail content without training, without limits, and without compensation. The crazy thing is, people will watch.

The result, more videos will be watched than ever before, but less money will be made than ever before. People will tolerate fewer advertisements, content creators will build huge empires in the minds of their audiences while working within revenue streams that wouldn’t pay the catering budget of a TV show.

Television revenues are going to shrink massively, however, they will remain much larger than anything the internet has to offer. Yet, in the minds of consumers, the war will appear to been won by the internet and television will have been destroyed. We will re-define our relationships with video content, yes, but, television won’t disappear, it will just become less relevant.

w00t!

Find more of Hank’s wisdom on the web @ hankgreen.com