There’s a new age of television rising, and it has nothing to do with the big cable companies. Instead, it’s the smaller distributors, like Netflix, that are getting into the game and partnering with ISPs to give users more control over when, and how, users access content. While Netflix hasn’t exactly cornered the market in Internet television, it already has the infrastructure in place to do so. All it needs are the right contracts, and it looks like 2014 could be the year it gets them.
User-Driven Content Rules
It’s no secret that sites like YouTube have reinvented the way people consume content online. It’s the basis for other companies, like Netflix. Think about it. When users watch video on YouTube, they only watch what they’re interested in. They only subscribe to individual channels that interest them.
They’re not forced to subscribe to channel “bundles.” Plus, they can watch videos whenever they want, wherever they want. They can also choose to download videos for later viewing. In recent years, this has become a popular alternative to streaming because many users access YouTube via their smartphones or tablets.
With cell service providers ditching all-you-can-eat Internet, users cleverly found a solution: YouTube conversion services. Some of these services allow users to simply copy and paste a YouTube link and the online conversion service converts the video to a file that the user can download and store locally.
Other services, like those found on http://youtubedownload.altervista.org/, utilize software programs that users install on their computer. Like online conversion services, the desktop programs require users to copy and paste a link into the converter and then the user downloads the video they want. When seeking content to download, remember to respect intellectual property rights.
This local storage concept is something that Apple uses too though its iTunes interface. Users can either stream the video from Apple’s servers or they can download the movie to their hard drive. From there, users can choose to watch the video, movie, or television show on their T.V., computer, smartphone, or tablet.
This represents unprecedented control over content consumption. Whether its user-generated content, like videos found on YouTube, or it’s professional copyright-protected material, like T.V. shows produced by the likes of Disney or TLC, users have total control over the consumption of the content.
Contrast this with traditional content distribution models. Cable providers control how content is consumed. They choose the air time, and which devices the user can view content on. It’s non-competitive in today’s Internet culture. That’s why a new deal with Netflix is so promising for users.
A Partnership With Comcast
Before now, users didn’t really have a choice. Sure, they could watch user-generated content on Vimeo or YouTube, but they couldn’t watch American Idol or Futurama on their terms. Even popular service providers like Netflix were limited in how they offered content to users.