Streaming video: We hardly knew ye

The disruption theme is probably overblown. In the end, it’s really just…television.

  • Thing Two was the manner in which this wealth of content was presented, which is the whole “UI” experience that streaming services like Netflix brought to the forefront (and which now is an expected table-stakes element of modern television). Menus and recommendation algorithms and colorful poster art will henceforth adorn our glass screens.
  • Which brings us to Thing Three: multi-device integration. Sending signals to iPhones and tablets and TVs rigged up to the Internet. That was a big deal. But now everybody does it.
  • Thing Four was a more inside-baseball thing: the ability to inject commercial messages with Internet-like agility and targeting acumen. Viewers didn’t give much of a rip, but it helped advertisers get excited about the streaming video category. And made people like Pluto TV’s founder Tom Ryan, who sold his company in January for $340 million, look really smart.

Writer, editor, media industry analyst. Fan of electric guitars. Believes in Santa Claus and baseball. Some light dusting.

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