Are We Being Watched?It’s the age-old tale of friendship and betrayal, partnerships and rivalries, business and greed…

In the wake of the VCR craze, more and more people were deciding to rent and buy their favourite films and TV shows; even more so with the arrival of an enhanced way of watching… introducing, the DVD.

Never underestimate how important the DVD was to the TV, especially when panic was setting in about online viewing… we had to take what we could get!

These little disks not only brought viewers their favourite programmes, but the promise of extras, interviews and a whole host of other ‘interactive’ features.

For once the TV was striking back (even if it wasn’t live broadcasting), as rental stores promoted ‘family viewing night’ a phrase I hadn’t heard in long time, and the promise of ‘ TV binge watching’.

At the forefront of this DVD rental phenomena (along with gigantic rental superstore blockbusters) a little website called ‘Netflix’ which started out sending you DVD’s in the post. How quaint!

Netflix brought the masses back to the TV set.

Sure some of these DVDs were played on computers and newly emerging game consoles (a tale for another time) but the majority of DVD’s were played right here, at home, in the living room. TV and film night… that was the new future!

But, as I said, this is a story about betrayal.

In 2007 after renting it’s 1 billionth DVD, Netflix ceased its renting business model and turned its attention to… streaming.

To date, Netflix has 38 million subscribers that stream around 2 billion hours of content per month (around 96 minutes per day) … and that isn’t even mentioning the other streaming sites that have made themselves known to TV audiences.

Even Blockbuster were forced out of business as the sheer availability of online content far outweighed any desire to ‘physically rent’ a DVD.

And this wasn’t even the worst part… with new streaming services, come new streaming devices.

You may even be reading this story on one!

Until next time…

Lee Robinson
About the author

23yr old film nerd, comic book and video game geek and all round Transmedia Fanatic…Oh, and I also have a 1st degree in Media, Writing and Production. More here...

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