Recently the bastions of online video, no longer satisfied with “digital dollars,” have made some of their boldest grabs yet at television’s multi-billion dollar advertising business by emulating the look, feel and business of…television. Welcome to progress.
YouTube, the birthplace of the web series, the king-maker of online celebrity, the petri dish of viral video, spent $100 million on re-positioning itself as the second coming of cable television with 100 new channels of advertiser-friendly, day-parted original programming.
Netflix paid $100 million to exclusively distribute two seasons of the Kevin Spacey/David Fincher drama House of Cards; then dropped another tidy sum to revive and distribute new episodes of the Emmy-winning Fox comedy Arrested Development. Wanna bet Netflix leads a lobby with the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences to get streaming originals on the Emmy ballot?