Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Traditional Media Takes Another Step Backward

Or, put another way, streaming media takes another step forward. According to this article, far more people have seen Tina Fey's impersonation of Sarah Palin online than watched it live on NBC. 10.2 million viewers saw the season-opener with Fey as Palin and Amy Poehler as Hillary Clinton on television. Those are good numbers even for a prime-time show. But, the real news is how many watched the bit streaming online. From The Canadian Press article:

Another 1.2 million people captured the episode on their DVRs and watched within the week. Through the middle of last week, NBC estimated that it had streamed the skit online more than 13 million times. Those are just the numbers NBC can keep track of; the skit was undoubtedly captured and posted or e-mailed many more times.

I didn't see the skit on TV but caught it at NBC's site. I don't own a TV so I didn't have much choice, but what about the tens of millions that chose to watch online? Why did they do that?'s so much easier to catch a TV show online than to tune in to the right station at the right time. You can also e-mail content to friends, post stuff online, etc. Fun, convenient. The question, really, is: At what point will most people watch TV content online?

Photo: old television set

We’re used to hearing about the decline of print media, but TV too? I guess it's the television set, invented way back when, as big as a refrigerator, sitting in the corner of most living rooms around the world that had me thinking the medium was impervious to change. However, the popularity of Fey's bit online is another clear sign of changing viewing habits.

Media, now including TV, continues its migration to the web. It won't be long before television sets broadcast nothing but static.

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