As the way we consume entertainment changes, so does the way that we store and collect it.
For more and more people each day, the idea of having a rack full of VHS tapes, then DVDs, and now Blu-rays almost feels antiquated.
Why would anyone want to take up all that space anyway? To show off their consumer exploits?
Well, there’s an easier and less invasive way of doing so—digitally. And as streaming and on-demand services grow into the norm and not something only tech-savvy folks are capable of, you can expect to see fewer of those aforementioned collections filling homes, flats, and dorms.
We are indeed fully submerged in the digital era, when watching a movie on your television couldn’t be easier unless they somehow think of a way to have the device read our minds.
Scratch that idea—too creepy. What’s not necessarily creepy and actually far more telling of our times is that video-on-demand (VOD) viewing is definitely on the rise.
According to Media Post, all VOD viewing was up 3 percent (a growth to 4.4 billion hours) compared to 2012. Even more staggering is the fact that “free-on-demand television content for broadcast prime-time programming showed a 24 percent hike over the previous year.”
Likewise, more people than ever are purchasing movies through on-demand and/or digital services as opposed to going out and buying physical copies. Reports from The Wall Street Journal at the top of the year indicated that digital movie sales rose considerably (47 percent!) in 2013 compared to the previous year.
It’s not surprising, though, when you consider that music—despite the vinyl resurgence, of course—is consumed more through digital means than anything else.
With services like Spotify around, it’s easier than ever to opt out of purchasing a new CD for, say, an additional month of service.
Similar to that consumption of music is how more of us are watching movies, television shows, and the like. We’re streaming them at a significant rate.
This was evident back in 2012, when TechSpot revealed that online movie streaming became more prevalent than DVD sales (in the U.S., at least). And now, two years later, the gap between streaming and DVD/Blu-ray sales continues to widen.
It goes beyond the bigger companies out there offering these services, because niche-like services with strong online content are also becoming mainstays in streaming video.
Perhaps the most prominent example is Picturebox Films, a service that provides users with a rotating selection of films that are picked by a committee of film fanatics.
Beyond the basic premise of, you know, offering the ability to watch specific movies whenever you want—in this case, they’re all Universal films—the service’s website is home to a blog filled with movie reviews and quirky, often-humourous lists and feature articles.
Those additions make the service feel more like a connected network of viewers and critics rather than a straightforward means of watching movies.
Moving forward in this year alone, it’ll be interesting to see where technology takes us on the video-viewing front.
Will there be more action in the realm of Google Glass and potential competitors, who want to make sure we can stay connected to the point of everything being up in our faces?
Or will there be some kind of partnerships formed between rival companies with the hope of growing toward more refined services?
Whatever happens, just make sure you have the popcorn ready.