Every week for the next few weeks we are featuring the web series “Missed Connections Live” by Melissa Center on our video sharing site. Below is episode 1 of the series, and you can stay updated on all the new episodes (they keep getting better and better) by subscribing to them in your favorite RSS reader.
I’m an advocate of Web shows because they offer benefits and other good stuff that TV shows can’t.
While I do have many favorite TV shows that include Entourage, The Apprentice, Dragon’s Den, Family Guy, The Simpsons, and a few others, I’m getting more and more into Web shows because:
- There is no FCC online so the videos and shows while are moderated by viewing communities, the content can be so much more obscene, hardcore, and extreme versus what cable networks can feature.
- Web show episodes tend to be short, and are usually in the 3-10 minute range. By using less filler within the content it allows viewers to not have to invest as much of their valuable time as they would to watch a show like Lost. On a Sunday afternoon I can watch an entire Web show season or multiple season series which is nice.
- A TV show can be sometimes hard to track down if you don’t watch an episode either live, or catch it via time shifting if you have digital cable. A Web show episode is always up ready to be watched, and usually available on multiple video sharing sites.
- Most episodes online can be downloaded for later to watch offline or on portable devices like the iPod. If you want to download a TV show it can be hard to find on a pirated P2P network, and you risk contracting computer viruses that can wipe you out for days.
- If you have a PVR you can rewind TV shows in case you missed something, but otherwise the average cable viewer can’t do the same. With Web shows you can rewind them, fast forward them, pause them, and in some cases even select your favorite clips and share them with others, and even embed them into your own site.
- The TV experience has long been called a lean back approach where you sit back and only consume what you’re watching. The online experience is a lean forward approach where you can engage with your content by commenting and rating, and even add annotations on top of the video player for others to see what you think of the content.
- The video production team and actors can usually be contacted and interacted with directly online, and while some TV stars can be as well through social media sites like Twitter, it’s unlikely you will hear back from them unless you really catch their attention and motivate them to connect with you.
- We trade watching numerous 30 second commercials for the privilege of watching TV shows. The average show has 22 minutes of content, and 8 minutes of ads, which means that 27% of the time we are watching ads not our show. While some Web shows have an initial 7, 15, or 30 second pre-roll, and an occasional mid-roll ad, the majority of the time we get to see the show we signed up for straight through. Overlay ads show up in the lower portion of online video players at times, but those can be easily closed by hitting the ‘x’ button on the ad directly. It’s safe to say the content/ad viewing experience is much better online.
- If your remote control breaks down, or you run out of batteries for it, you are stuck changing channels on your cable box or VCR depending on your home entertainment setup. I can’t remember the last time my mouse let me down.
- If you want to watch HD on your TV then you need to buy a HD box that also costs extra each month on your bill. If you have a HD computer screen then you are free to view the ever increasing amount of HD video content online.
I know I’m leaving important differences off this list, so if you have more to add then place a comment below or send me a tweet.