Why Audiovisual Content That’s Not On-Demand is Dead to Me

By richard | 14/10/2007

I’m online from 10-15hrs  a day on average and as a result I’m used to having everything available within a short amount of time. I also had access to a PVR with a hard disk upgrade for quite a long time. As a result of both these developments anything that is not available to me when I want to watch it goes unnoticed. That’s because “It’s an on-demand world” as was concluded in one edit I worked on for a client about the future of broadcasting.

From a young age I had quite a choice of channels. Some were French, some were Italian and others were German. That’s because it’s Geneva and you get the French tv channels as well as the Swiss national channels. That’s access to about 7 channels over the air in analog form. With Sky digital the number of channels increased from 10-30 and finally to several thousand. Recently Sky started to broadcast a greater range of international content.

The next move was the PVR. The ability to record up to three hundred hours of program content to disk from two receivers at once. If you allow for a backlog to develop then you’ve got a fake video on demand on service. That’s great. It means that when you know which programs you want to watch the machine will take care of it.

A cheap version of this is available online through platforms such as Itunes where it’s powered by RSS feeds. At the beginning you’ve got very little content as you learn more about the technology but over time you end up with over four hundred podcasts in the back catalog. That’s quite a bit of choice.

Youtube, Revver, Myspace, Dailymotion are true video-on-demand services in browser form. Each of these websites allows you to download and watch thousands of short video clips without a dedicated time. That’s great. A housemate wanted to watch some comedy so we went to youtube, downloaded, and watched a selection of programs on demand.

Of course, the next step is Joost like platforms. It’s like a television channel but you can select when it’s convenient to watch the program rather than setting your life around the program.

There are two reasons for this. The first is an increase in capacity. The second is progress in technology.  We went from having four channels to 10 times that number with Freeview and with satellite broadcasting we’ve gone from 20 channels to several thousand. We’ve also gone from one user interface, the television set with five channels to the computer, and unlimited choice. That’s why media content that is not on-demand is almost dead to me.

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