The release of the "new" Arrested Development series on Netflix was a watershed moment in TV/video history. Not just because a niche pop culture legend was resuscitated nearly a decade after it’s cancellation, but really what made it groundbreaking is who brought it back from the grave.
A non-television, non-cable network technology company was responsible for the Arrested Development revival — something never seen before in our industry. For those who haven't seen the program, the original series was undoubtedly made for a social generation before a social platform existed, and it catered to a niche but fiercely loyal fan base. But because it didn't resonate with general audiences, the show met its demise — ironically one month before Twitter was born.
Then Netflix, the anti-TV network, came along and reincarnated the cult classic, releasing all episodes to be consumed at one time this past Memorial Day weekend.
Unfortunately for Netflix, the reviews for AD have been bad, but in so many ways it doesn't really matter. Content owners now have an alternative to the traditional media distributors — including Broadcast/Cable Networks, Syndicators and MSO’s.
And this is a good thing.
Connectivity and distribution are no longer barriers to reaching consumers with content, as we are now seeing with AOL, Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube.
If you have good content (or a reality show) and have a financial model you can support, (this is the big question) then an over-the-top video business can be very successful. And while we are clearly only in the first round of a converged video prize fight between the networks and over-the-top players for content, all signs indicate that we’ll be watching more video in two years than we do today.
Whether it is ad supported or subscription driven, one thing is clear; as the number of content channels explode, addressability will be critical to ensuring that great content is seen and monetized----and there will be no shortage of great technology companies there to help meet that challenge.