Everyone loved House of Cards. It was nominated for an Emmy, which is historical. New programming series on Netflix and webisodes across the interwebs are challenging the viewing formats we take for granted. However, our obsession with binge consumption of media only works if a few media properties do this. In order for these new series to be successful, there must be enough original programming that is time released. If every show and movie was released on Jan 1st, people would go nuts by March. Or would they?
My hypothesis is that people need some temporal benchmarks to enjoy certain programming in a communal way. If every show was released in full on one day, the system would implode.
The larger question is how have those communities splintered off into smaller subgroups vs. popular mass groups needed for advertising? Would advertising that fuels TV be happy if all on demand content replaced mass cable? Where does the psychological impact of scarcity of media overlap with the politics & business of ad buys? Many households already only do streaming content. Other households have streaming services in addition to core cable programming. But, the system has to change – technology and the pull of consumers is moving faster then cable companies want to go. It will be interesting to see how this ecosystem changes in the next 5 years.