Yahoo! Screen just announced that the recently cancelled NBC comedy Community will be quickly revived on their web channel. While this may not have quite the same impact as Netflix bringing back Arrested Development for it’s fans, it certainly marks another coup by internet streaming services against traditional networks. It’s becoming apparent that the big broadcast networks have no interest in distributing content to niche audiences. They want all eye-balls, all the time. The problem is, not everyone wants to watch another batch of too-good-looking detectives, doctors and lawyers spout exposition for an hour or listen to awful canned laughter piped in over even more awful one-liners for a half an hour.
Internet sites like Amazon, Netflix and now Yahoo! Screen are aware of the changing landscape of consumer demand and seem to have no problem bringing content directly to it’s target audience. I believe the reason they are so successful is that it’s all on-demand and targeted directly to it’s intended audience. The programs available online are not abiding by the rules of traditional television. The days of “same bat-time, same bat-channel” are quickly dying. If traditional broadcast networks are going to survive they are going to have to be innovative. Reality and talent competition shows won’t save them.
It’s a revolution and audiences are winning, if they know where to go. The wide open landscape that is the internet has allowed content creators to thrive, if they are good. And sure, most internet savvy folks know of Netflix, Hulu and Amazon, but other sites such as My Damn Channel and Blip have original content that can be hit or miss, just like Hollywood. Film and television on the internet is a great example of the free market at work. The good content will rise to the top, no matter how simple a concept. It’s all out there now!
Yahoo! Screen is banking on Community to bring more people back to their plot of digital land and as someone who never watched the show, I look forward to checking it out. Yes, I’ve never seen it. I cut the cable cord many years ago and while I still have rabbit ears to catch broadcast tv, I stopped assuming that just because a network put something on the air that it was going to be good. With so much competition now, broadcast tv has proven to be more miss than hit.