The National Association of Broadcasters reports on the innovative and exciting developments in the broadcast industry. Yesterday, Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos announced that the video streaming company has renewed Arrested Development for a fourth season, reviving the popular sitcom after the show ended its run on Fox over six years ago. The Netflix version is taking on a new format, releasing all ten episodes of season four at once, as well as following a new plot model. This has obvious implications for the future of the television industry, but the reasons for this new development are far-reaching, and could influence the future development of commercial advertising and corporate video production.
This revolutionary structure is just a preview of what the future of broadcast has to offer. There is a growing preference for on-demand content streamed from video sites, rather than live television programs. Viewers want to consume media on their own terms and at their own convenience. As viewers’ demands for media content and media distribution transform, the creators and distributors of this media content adjust their own practices in order to take advantage of emerging consumer trends. The episodic continuity of a season, with weekly updates on a cast of characters, has long been viewed as an integral part of the television-viewing experience, but Netflix’s handling of Arrested Development is an egregious diversion from this format. This is an interesting example of how the creative and economic sides of a creative business–here, television–can combine to deliver a unique solution and possibly revolutionize the way television programs are financed, made, and watched.
Furthermore, the new storytelling format is conducive with integration into digital technology. In an article on Vulture, the show’s creator Mitch Hurwitz says, “We’d also like to use the technology to provide additional material, where you might be able to access another part of the story.” There will be mystery added to the plotline, so fans may fully embrace the capabilities of on-demand by returning to previous episodes to look for clues to connect the stories together.
This trend, favoring highly accessible content, also translates to the corporate world. Entrepreneurs and business leaders recognize the effectiveness of video, as opposed to plain text, for communicating messages to their primary audiences. A company now has the capacity to record a live event or breaking news announcement and post the content online, so the public has instant access. By offering corporate video on-demand a business can replicate the success of more views and increased interaction boasted by an on-demand tv series. Corporate online video stimulates a relationship by fostering consistent communication between a business and its consumers. Just as loyal viewers re watch episodes of a favorite online tv series, engaged consumers will also stay up-to-date with business news.