Right now the studios and networks are freaking out over what could be a major loss of their profit and power base should video streaming continue to grow exponentially. If Americans are all watching streaming, you can say goodbye to network television. Better still, you can say good riddance to the un-American scam that is bundled cable — where you pay for the four channels you actually watch and subsidize another 90 you never watch and even hate (I’m looking at you MSNBC).
In retaliation, the Hollywood Powers are trying to slow the streaming revolution down by witholding content and muscling streaming providers like Hulu to add a feature that will only allow cable subscribers to stream their content.
Well, thank the Good Lord we live in America, because that means those kinds of tyrannical and desperate practices just aren’t going to work. The primary example of the next phase of this battle was taken up by a 800 pound gorilla we call Amazon.com:
Amazon is looking to add some new shows to its streaming video library — specifically, yours.
The online e-commerce giant with the burgeoning Instant Video site has announced a major initiative from its Amazon Studios wing: Starting now, Amazon is accepting ideas for TV shows from anybody who has a pilot script, an idea for five or six episodes, and an Internet connection. Amazon says that it will be selecting one idea per month to put into development. If it passes muster and Amazon decides to produce a full slate of shows, the creator will be given $55,000, up to five percent on sales of licensed merchandise, and “other royalties and bonuses,” per a press release from Amazon.
The site is right here and you can upload your work right now. Amazon is looking, specifically, for comedies and kids’ shows; if you are submitting either, you need to have a completed pilot script in order to be considered.
Netflix Streaming is also producing original content.
The message here is bold and in-your-face: If Hollywood wants to protect their bundled cable monopoly, we’ll just take it to the next level and not only provide a more democratic way to watch content, we’ll also produce our own damn content without you.
There are only so many hours in the day, and if Amazon and Netflix are able to fill our hours with enough licensed and original programming, Hollywood will not only lose the corrupt power base of bundled cable, they will have created competition for content itself.
I am loving every minute of this. Essentially, what happened to the news media is happening to television. The Internet is detonating the old model where a very few bottle-necked distribution.
Fight the power.
Cancel your cable.
I’m going to as soon as my contract is up … for America.