The Internet is growing up

03/30/2010 at 2:05 PM Leave a comment

Non-traditional media is a term that does not have a permanent shelf life. Actually, I compare being labeled a non-traditional medium to being tagged as a child star—sooner or later, you’re no longer one and, even worse, people will view you as ordinary. This is exactly what happens to non-traditional media over time.

Let’s take a look through history shall we? Billboards, television and magazines all had a period of time when they were looked at as a new marketing medium. Fast-forward to the present; there are now products designed to skip TV commercials. We don’t care what these once-new messages tell us anymore; they’re on a medium that is simply old news.

Within the past four to five years, marketers have discovered opportunities that only the Internet can provide. Since then, the Web has been thought of as the prime example of a non-traditional medium. Unfortunately, like the once-dreamy Jonathan Taylor Thomas, the Internet is growing up and isn’t as cute anymore.

I want to take a look at the recent phenomenon of online television viewing to argue my point. I can assume that most people participate in this because it: a) allows the public to see their favorite shows/movies for free and/or b) only has about one to two minutes of commercials for an entire episode.

Don’t expect this to last. Hulu, the second-most visited video site on the web right now, is facing pressure from the networks backing it to become a paid premium Web site. In addition to that, The CW network recently announced it is planning on adding TV-length commercial breaks for all of its online viewing.

So, to recap, (legitimate) online viewing is trending to become a premium service (essentially a cable service) and will feature full-length commercial breaks. If this doesn’t sound like a path to becoming a traditional medium, I don’t know what is. This isn’t a bad thing, it’s just the natural cycle of media. I’m going to go watch a couple of Brat Pack movies now.

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Entry filed under: Technology, Television. Tags: , , .

Cue the ominous “future” post Happy April Fools’ Day!

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