Angela Natividad's Live & Uncensored!

13 May 2008

The Needle or the Pipe

Last month the CW decided to pull episodes of Gossip Girl off the internet, arguing it cannibalizes the network broadcast. What a backward and stupid thing to do.

That kind of behaviour punishes people for evolving. It also betrays a lack of creativity. But worst of all, the CW is suggesting TV and the internet cannot viably coexist.

One day these platforms will merge. Until they do, there is room for both: each boasts a benefit the other currently lacks. People with the money and the choice will, more often than not, opt for both.

Accenture's Global Broadcast Consumer Survey recently found that consumers are loyal to favourite programs regardless of medium. At this point in the development of media -- where new shows are online and on TV, but streaming broadcasts are generally a day late -- how consumers want to experience their vice (pipe or needle?) will determine how they consume it.

For the latest episode of a favourite show, or maybe just for an undemanding escape, they'll turn to television.

To fill holes in the plotline (that is, to watch extras or episodes missed) or research past seasons of a show they're thinking about following, they'll turn to the 'net.

Benj and I follow Lost and Desperate Housewives with the perseverance normally reserved for cause-oriented marathon runners. It was a pleasure to find we could stream them from the 'net because it meant we wouldn't need to get a TV.

Two weeks ago, while I was away on business, Benj bought one.

"It's just for DVD watching," he said casually. "Don't you think it'll be nice to have a big screen for movies?"

The logic made okay sense. To celebrate, we had a Lord of the Rings marathon with a friend. The bigger screen definitely brings new dimensions to Hobbiton.

The week I left for Manhattan, Benj suggested we get cable.

"Why do we need cable?" I asked, perplexed. Online TV aside, we have whole seasons of shows we haven't even begun watching.

"Because then we can watch new Desperate Housewives episodes THE NIGHT THEY AIR instead of the next morning!" Benj said brightly. "Come on. It's only $15 a month."

I'm still not sure why (curiosity? His daily harangues?), but I ultimately gave in. Since then, it's impossible to get our asses of the couch. I have never experienced anything as magnetic as TV -- with the exception of the internet, which has rather lost luster now that I depend on it for financial survival; and my BlackBerry, which feels more like a leash than a Pandora's box of vice-ridden treasures.

On TV, even the ads are more exciting.

We're back to where the spendy advertisers want us, thanks mostly to the internet. So who says the 'net and networks can't survive in tangent?

*I think I'm sort of into Tyra. And Benj? He's definitely into Oprah. His word for her show, uttered fresh today, was "soothing."


Ann Handley said...

"Since then, it's impossible to get our asses of the couch. I have never experienced anything as magnetic as TV..."

That is a great quote!! Actually -- it's interesting -- but I think John McCain's parents wrote something like that in their blog the year he was born, in 1936!

Angela Natividad said...

If I conceive another McCain, I'll blame you for being all psychologically suggestive.