Select your localized edition:

Close ×

More Ways to Connect

Discover one of our 28 local entrepreneurial communities »

Be the first to know as we launch in new countries and markets around the globe.

Interested in bringing MIT Technology Review to your local market?

MIT Technology ReviewMIT Technology Review - logo

 

Unsupported browser: Your browser does not meet modern web standards. See how it scores »

{ action.text }

For the last few years, I’ve been watching a blend of Web-created video programming, live streams from news outlets, and traditional television – all packaged together on my home computer. I like it that way because I can record and move media around in the way that I want to see it, which means I can go from an episode of Battlestar Galactica (the new one, not the old one) that I’ve recorded on my PC to a series of Strongbad cartoons at Homestarrunner.com. Heck, I’ve spent hours just flipping through the Reuters television news feeds. (And, yes, I wish I was kidding.)

In the grand scheme of my life today, media is media. Network television, web-created shows, or broadcaster feeds are all the same for me. They each have an equal amount of weight and importance – except I watch way more non-television content today than I ever have (a fact that networks haven’t overlooked as their overall audience share has continually dropped over the past decade).

Why is this important? Because AOL and TimeWarner announced a deal today that would give television – by virtue of making itself more accessible to people online and more like other forms of digital media – an Internet make-over.

The advertising-supported service, In2TV, will feature approximately 3,400 hours of programming from 4,800 episodes spanning 100 series of Warner Bros.-produced shows from the past in its first year in an exclusive deal.

This is simply the latest move from television networks looking for ways to reach a wider audience. When Sony’s Playstation Portable debuted, movie studios and TV broadcasters announced an array of programming available for the handheld gaming device.

For now, it seems that mostly what is going online are older television shows (those ‘classics’ that have been relegated to the vaults, never to be seen again until they show up on Nick at Night). Slowly, nightly newscasts and other weightier programming is also finding its way to the Web.

What will be interesting, particularly as corporations such as AOL and TimeWarner seek to monetize this new medium, is when bloggers and other netizens begin to find new ways to repurpose that content (some would say illegally) to enhance stories – or, particularly in times of crisis – to distribute that content.

4 comments. Share your thoughts »

Reprints and Permissions | Send feedback to the editor

From the Archives

Close

Introducing MIT Technology Review Insider.

Already a Magazine subscriber?

You're automatically an Insider. It's easy to activate or upgrade your account.

Activate Your Account

Become an Insider

It's the new way to subscribe. Get even more of the tech news, research, and discoveries you crave.

Sign Up

Learn More

Find out why MIT Technology Review Insider is for you and explore your options.

Show Me