The rise of online distribution means more content viewing choices; at the same time, cable and broadcast still are where most viewers look first to consume content. We have seen the rise of original content going directly to streaming, like Netflix's "House of Cards", and now we are seeing shows move from one platform to another. Actually, we are seeing three!
For soap opera fans, the loss of two long time series on ABC, “All My Children” and “One Life to Live”, are finding new life and new original shows on streaming media. According to the NY Times, "Some fans have set their alarm clocks for 5 a.m. Monday, the precise time when the shows will have their premieres on Hulu and iTunes — and complete the closely watched transition from TV to the Internet." Will viewers follow these two shows? Like Netflix did for "Arrested Development", rabid fans may be very happy to find new episodes can be found online.
But this trend to move a show from one platform to another is not a one way road. For HuffPost Live, an online, live news program on the Huffington Post web site, a new audience may soon discover them. Also according to today's NY Times, "The company announced Sunday night that Mr. Cuban’s cable channel AXS TV, previously known as HDNet, would soon carry HuffPost Live’s
programming for six hours a day." That means that HuffPost Live will extend its reach to around 41 million cable subscribers. Cable and broadcast networks, looking for potential new series can let online sites incubate new shows and take them to their audience once they mature. The same could hold true for TV pilots being tested online.
As much as cable and broadcast networks worry that online will steal viewers and subscription revenue, they may also find that working collaboratively can perhaps work, too. For now, we can watch and wait as more original shows move back and forth between online and on TV.