Ramblings & ephemera

The future of TV is the Internet

From Paul Graham’s “Why TV Lost” (Paul Graham: March 2009):

About twenty years ago people noticed computers and TV were on a collision course and started to speculate about what they’d produce when they converged. We now know the answer: computers. It’s clear now that even by using the word “convergence” we were giving TV too much credit. This won’t be convergence so much as replacement. People may still watch things they call “TV shows,” but they’ll watch them mostly on computers.

Whether [TV networks] like it or not, big changes are coming, because the Internet dissolves the two cornerstones of broadcast media: synchronicity and locality. On the Internet, you don’t have to send everyone the same signal, and you don’t have to send it to them from a local source. People will watch what they want when they want it, and group themselves according to whatever shared interest they feel most strongly. Maybe their strongest shared interest will be their physical location, but I’m guessing not. Which means local TV is probably dead. It was an artifact of limitations imposed by old technology.

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