The line between online and offline video content has been blurring over the last couple of years and come March it may well disappear altogether. By the end of next month, viewers will no longer have to switch to the internet to get their daily intake of skateboarding accidents, sneezing pandas and laughing babies. Instead YouTube will be just another option on their channel guide as the giant video factory attempts to become less dependent on short amateur clips by attracting top-end shows from reputable production companies, including BBC Worldwide and Jamie Oliver’s Fresh One.
And this shift of video from the web to the living room is not just one way traffic. I’m ashamed to admit that last night I finished the first series of the new Kevin Spacey series, House of Cards, just 9 days after its release onto Netflix. For a production of this nature to skip the television and be aired exclusively online would have been unimaginable just a few years ago, but as the masses have flocked online the production companies have had little choice but to follow. TV just isn’t the dominant force that it once was, although ironically this latest step by its greatest adversary, YouTube, may slow down its decline.