How the cloud is changing TV

20 years ago it was possible, barely, to binge watch a TV series, with a VCR and an armful of tapes. Today, the cloud makes it easy - and popular. But that's not the cloud's most important effect.

I've been binge watching the Marvel/Netflix production of Jessica Jones - it's pretty great - and I noticed that it flowed differently than a TV show. In an interview with Variety, showrunner Melissa Rosenberg spelled out why:

When you're telling a story on Netflix, the beauty of it is you have that kind of time. . . . [W]hen you're not on a network, you don't have to break for commercials and tell people again what they just saw five minutes ago or what they saw last week. You're laying out a story over the course of 13 hours and you're assuming the audience is coming with you. You can assume an intelligence from the audience. (bolding added).

The Storage Bits take

Low-cost cloud storage - Netflix uses Amazon and Google clouds - makes it possible for millions of people to stream on-demand video. And that enables Melissa Rosenberg to tell a story in a way that just isn't feasible on broadcast TV.

Once you see how broadcast TV - larded with 20 minutes of commercials every hour - jerks the narrative around every few minutes, you can't unsee it. As more shows are produced for streaming services old TV shows will look as odd as silent movies do to us.

Professional alarmist Nicholas Carr - author of Is Google Making Us Stupid - commented that ". . . what the Net seems to be doing is chipping away my capacity for concentration and contemplation." And yet millions of people are doing what they never could before: watching 13 hour (or longer: Breaking Bad, anyone?) dramas as quickly as they can.

Our ability to concentrate is doing just fine. Perhaps we're just more demanding than we used to be.

Comments welcomed, of course.