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Tech & Entertainment

Here's an interesting take on the ever-evolving entertainment industry, particularly content streaming.

It poses not one, but several rather big questions, and there's no easy answer. Anyone over the age of, say, 35, has seen the death or severe decline of vinyl (and its moderate resurgence), cassette tapes, VHS, and more recently, DVDs. Our ecosystem has experienced a gigantic sea change in how we consume content.

And yet... it's messy out there. If you leave your cable company in order to save money, you'd better have fairly modest requirements. There's not one single service that offers a complete replacement for cable. As a sports fan, I had a particularly tough time figuring out how to get my football and golf fixes. Turned out, Hulu streamed everything except ABC. I certainly wasn't going to not watch the Ohio State Buckeyes play, so I signed up for the ESPN+ service. It wasn't terribly expensive, but cut into the savings we were hoping for by making the big switch.

The guys in this article are worried about big tech companies coming in and changing the rules. Well, haven't we been through enough rule changes in the last 15 years to make change itself something to welcome? Think about what Netflix did to our culture when it started producing content. Not just silly shows, but great stuff that could stand side-by-side with HBO and Showtime productions. Not only that, they eschewed the episodic format by giving us entire seasons at once.

This seemed audacious... for 60 years, the television season started in September and ended in May. But quicker than you could grab your remote, the term 'binge watch' became part of our lexicon. Netflix's success forced every other content producer out there to scramble to match what they were doing. A handful did it better, many were simply adequate, but very few failed outright.

And, of course, the rapid evolution of all this is mostly great for consumers. The technical innovation behind each new update is astonishing, and it's just the beginning. Streaming itself, I feel, will remain a strong core technology that we use to consume information for at least the next decade. But the rules and devices behind and around it will continue to evolve.

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