Don't know if you've heard, but Netflix is killing it right now. Their earnings are through the roof, they're growing, and the future looks very bright. Why? Because 48% of their success is derived from the streaming of content. That's right. You want to watch a movie right this very minute? Bam. Netflix probably has it. You've paid your fee for access, so there's no waiting for the film to come in the mail, etc. Just load it up on your PC (or if you have a PC connected to your television), and you're good to go. Hell, I know people who don't even have a television anymore. They stream everything. Shows, movies, what have you--right from a website. If you have one of those giant monitors, you're in great shape.
Here's where the film and television industry just don't get it. I watch about 2-3 shows live anymore. The rest I DVR, and skip the commercials. At least with on demand or web streaming, an advertiser gets to display some 5-15 second ads. With recorded TV, they get zilch.
This is the way of the future. Streaming content, and on-demand viewing.
It won't be long before Netwflix starts developing their own content--television shows and films--and making a butt load of money. Best of all--they'll own it all. I'm shocked they haven't started doing this already. Imagine this--"a Netflix original." Give it a few years, and it'll happen.
The entertainment industry is never going to be in danger of being completely shut out. Networks and film studios are very good at what they do. But, as pockets get deeper on the fringes, they risk losing a significant amount of market share. Companies like Netflix and Microsoft (Xbox) have deep pockets, and let's face it--how hard is it to make a movie, or a television show? There are thousands of people starving for work right now. The market place is loaded with talent. All it takes is the budget for Netflix of Microsoft--the production, marketing, and delivery machine is in place. Microsoft is already developing original content for xbox, and looking at it as an on-demand portal.
I've talked a lot about a "new hollywood." And, it will happen right before our eyes in the next few years. The NBCs, and Paramounts of the world are going to have to do something drastic to compete. They're already way behind, and playing catch up.
The sooner entities like Netflix and Xbox get their original content revved up, the better.