Once upon a time, there was only one way in which you could watch movies, news, sports or any other form of visual entertainment. Television was this singular medium. This was true for many decades, and it all started back in the late 1930s when television sets started to become more commonplace. During this TV only era, you were confined to one spot, for the duration of whatever television show you were watching. You had zero mobility. And no matter where you were in the world, your viewing selection was very limited and relegated to only a handful of channels. Content for television was being created and distributed by a select few companies too. They choose what you watched, and when you watched it.
Today you can watch any form of entertainment you want via satellite, cable or terrestrial television. And of course there is also what seems like an endless number of internet-based channels, and stations you can choose from. Similarly there are quite a few ways in which you can view your chosen entertainment. You can check out your favorite show or movie on your smart phone, your computer…or a good old fashioned flat screen TV. You can pretty much watch whatever you want, whenever you want…wherever you want.
This definitely wasn’t the case when television ruled the visual airways. Technology was not nearly as advanced as it is now. Back in the early 1950’s, The Lone Ranger was watched all over the world.
Could you imagine trying to convince someone from 1950 that they could watch this internationally known Western on a telephone? How about telling them that they could watch it while they waited for their train, and on a telephone that fit in the palm of their hand? They might believe you, but I doubt it. Most likely they would’ve thought you were deliriously crazy, or they would’ve laughed hysterically at such a far-fetched notion.
How far we’ve come! Today entertainment and information is accessible 24-hours a day, from pretty much anywhere in the world…as long as you have an internet connection. For example, the largest international news networks are now broadcasting 24-hours a day. And most of these news networks are live streaming their content, all day and all night.
The 24-hour news cycle got its start back on June 1, 1980 in a tiny television studio in Atlanta, Georgia. That is where Ted Turner introduced and launched the Cable News Network (CNN). CNN was the very first US domestic and international 24-hour news network. Back then all of the major news networks told Mr. Turner that his 24-hour news cycle concept wasn’t going to work. In his book Call Me Ted, Mr. Turner tells the true story of how the industry “professionals” at the time told him CNN wouldn’t even last a year. Boy were they wrong!
Today, all you need is an internet connection, a smart phone and some time, because you can live streaming news from anywhere in the world…anytime of the day. News organizations like the British Broadcasting Channel (BBC), Aljazeera, GloboNews and of course CNN are all live streaming news, 24-hours a day. So you’ve got some options!
PokerStars.com is another live streaming pioneer. This company has been leading the way for people who enjoy playing or watching poker and it’s “the place to be” when it comes to watching and participating in live poker games. The website also allows for joining thousands of online poker players competing all over the globe.
Movie and television studios have also become hip to the live streaming revolution. The way in which they use this technology is a little bit different and unique unto itself. The studios that make, produce and distribute entertainment are using live streaming as an on-demand service offering. Meaning that rather than distributing their final product immediately, for live viewing. They sell their content to companies that provide an online viewing service to their customers. These customers are end-user consumers that need only to click a button on a website, in order to watch whatever content they choose. To the viewer, their entertainment is essentially “live” because it is available, and at their fingertips 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. This is all due to the flexibility and on-demand nature of the internet. The internet never sleeps. Therefore any content that is appropriately hosted on a server, is effectively being “live streamed.”
Before live streaming was available, movie and television studios only had a few ways that they could distribute, and sell their finished products. They could, and still do put their movies in theaters across the world. Beside that distribution avenue, they were regulated to selling their content on physical products likes VHS tapes, Laser discs or DVD’s. That was their only way to profit from their movies and televisions shows.
Presently these same movie and television studios are selling their finished entertainment products to companies such as Netflix, Viki, Fandor, Spuul and many other live streaming websites. These are only a handful of live streaming services that are available on every continent, across the globe. Most of them offer free live streaming viewing with the catch that you will be subjected to advertisements, while you watch anything on their platform. The other option is to pay a small monthly fee, and watching a movie or television show without the annoyance of commercial interruption. These live streaming companies have given movie and television studios a brand new way to monetize their products. This is a great example of an industry embracing new technology!
Live streaming technology has dramatically altered the way human beings interact with information and entertainment. Whether it’s being able to watch “live news,” or simply keeping up to date on the most current events throughout the day, live streamed 24-hour news offers is there to help. And finally, there are plenty of services that allow you to watch your favorite movie, television show or TV series online. You can watch for free and get hassled with commercials, or pay a few bucks for viewing peace of mind. It’s up to you how you choose to live stream this entertainment outlet.
In the end, where would we be if these industries didn’t embrace live streaming technology? In this writer’s opinion, an infinitely more boring and less informed world. So I for one, am glad these industries have embraced live streaming!