The brave new frontier for content is no longer cable TV; the web has been the newest ground for innovation and niche programming. Content creators are embracing this new fertile platform. "Filming for Web productions in L.A. rose 46% over 2011. Such content has evolved from short episodes to full-length TV productions, some with budgets comparable to conventional TV shows'." And this content is finding homes on You Tube, Netflix, AOL, Yahoo, and other online sites. Online content is no longer about user generated content (UGC), although that still exists, but in professionally produced content meant to drive views and advertising and subscription dollars.
And the eyeballs for online content are growing as well to the point where cable operators are feeling the pressure of customers cutting their cable cord for online content only. Original productions on Netflix and Amazon, original channels on You Tube are key drivers to audience interests. They may start out attracting niche interests at first. But like cable, the demand only leads to more broadly created content to attract larger, ad rated interests.
It is the evolution in the media landscape, from radio to broadcast to cable to web that follows similar paths to becoming mainstream. The rise in web content will not kill cable, but it will change usage patterns. And for content creators, the growth in the web platform enables more choice and more opportunities for distribution.