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The word television was first introduced to the world in 1900 at
the World's Fair in Paris during the first International Congress
of Electricity. Since these first glimpses at moving pictures in
grainy black and white, the word television has become more than a
black box in the corner of the living room.
While skeptics dismissed television as something that wouldn't
be popular and pushed people towards the radio, innovators and
forward-thinkers forged ahead. Soon enough colour was introduced to
television, changing the way people see and understand the world.
Cable television opened up a whole new range of viewing
opportunities and with the introduction of satellite television,
pay television channels for movies and sporting events - it seems
like television really did take over. It is not uncommon for people
to have multiple televisions in their homes, all with access to
over 200 channels.
Or is it so common? Some pundits will claim that the television
is struggling. More and more people are turning to online
entertainment, with some even unsubscribing from traditional cable
methods and turning to the Internet. The advent of mobile devices
such as iPads, iPhones, tablets and android devices has changed the
way people get their "television".
Admittedly, this is not news - we all know that more and more
people are turning to online media and entertainment. In fact whole
industries have been created to provide such entertainment and to
enable users to access this content with secure and proven online
methods. So why, write about the changing face of television
Lets start with YouTube. YouTube was launched and founded in
2005 and has quickly grown to be the go-to online resource for all
sorts of videos. From learning how to knit videos, to footage from
international sporting events, to commercials, and of course user
uploaded videos of crazy cats and goofy kids - hours can be spent
getting free online entertainment. Unlike the television, where
viewers are bound by programming schedules and paying for specialty
channels - YouTube lets you watch what you want when you want
Now people expect to get their entertainment on their terms.
This is the challenge that YouTube is working towards addressing.
"We're entering the third wave of media," YouTube CEO Salar
Kamangar said during an on-stage interview with AllThingsD's Peter
Kafka in Laguna Nigel, California on Tuesday. "The first wave was
the broadcast networks. The second wave was cable networks. Now
it's about giving people exactly what they want to watch
By developing niche channels that allow users to watch videos
specific to their interests such as business, food, fashion, pets,
and dance - YouTube is hoping to get more and more people online
and watching. To keep people watching and not being forced to
continually click on the play button to start the next video, uses
will be able to subscribe to a channel and simply sit back and
watch it - just like television.
This is almost like television is coming full-circle - but
online and through the computer screen. Subscribe to only the
channels that meet your interests and sit down to be entertained
In light of this initiative by YouTube, it is interesting to
consider the announcement this week by Sky about their new
Internet-based television platform. Recognizing that people have
changed the way they pay for and subscribe to media and
entertainment, this is a way for for Sky to capture the market
of people who do not subscribe to a pay-television service.
For a monthly rate, subscribers will have unlimited access to
Sky Movies - as well users can optionally use a pay-as-you-go
service to rent individual movies. Essentially this is a very
similar model used by Netflix and Lovefilm. Users can watch movies
and television programs on their mobile device of choice or even on
Okay - so what is the big deal? Quite simply the innovation and
the changes we're seeing in how we get our entertainment, want our
entertainment and expect to be entertained. Both YouTube and Sky
are taking some risks here - they see that their audience is
changing and recognize that just like the inventors of the
television, it is time to push the barriers and keep up the
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