Eventually, we’re going to get our TV over the internet.
Riding a wave of Internet-fueled people power, Amazon recently posted 14 pilot TV shows on the Internet for free viewing.
Amazon and other technology companies are racing to rethink the living room by delivering TV shows and movies over the Internet, rather than through traditional channels such as cable and satellite services.
Consumers are responding, breaking free of the cable box. Cox has 4.6 million cable box subscribers but there are 40 million Xbox 360s connected to the internet.
Television will eventually live alongside streaming video, music, games, and more in a single interface. Once the way we deliver television changes, everything else about the television experience will change as well.
Christian content creators are well-positioned to follow the innovators.
Five advantages for Christian content creators
1. Networks are beginning to recognize the potential of IP-distributed content. The glide path of all Christian Media will steadily move to all IP content. We are already seeing the next generation of platforms and business and ministry models.
2. Gospel focused content is not created to sell primarily, it’s created to inspire, teach, encourage. Licensing rights do not have to be an issue for Christian communicators and distributors the way it is in Hollywood. Endeavors and experiments in content aggregation and distribution will occur very quickly when that’s figured out.
3. The gospel doesn’t need a hit formula. Programming produced with excellence and biblical fidelity can, through the power of the Holy Spirit, turn the world upside down.
4. The Christian content market does not have to be tough to work and expensive. Church media producers are doing some of the most creative things ever attempted with storytelling. When that content is given mass exposure there is no way to calculate the numbers of people that will be introduced to the power of the gospel.
5. Creators, engineers, and distributors can create an entirely new kind of Christian TV. Not just a new way to get last weeks’ sermon, but a new way for the sermon to be experienced, because you can integrate the power and interactivity and information of the internet into the messages.
Christian content creators hold the key
Amazon and Apple and Google and Microsoft and Facebook and startups galore are innovating, battling for the consumer in the living room.
Innovators have assumed most of the risk for Internet TV – infrastructure, devices and content – showing what works, capturing the best territory. While there is still a lot of hard work ahead, they have proven the market actually exists. Fast followers, and I put Christian Media in this category, can get into the mix over the next few years, establishing a foothold with far less capital. Late followers get nothing.
Partnerships are going to be more critical than ever in the connected, digital world, especially for Christian networks. Content creators hold the key. If creators show they’re passionate about these things and have a willingness to partner with their content, they will happen.
Imagine there being so many Christian TV content channels and genres of quality gospel programming, that the compelling content a person sees playing when they first click on is a message that changes their eternal destiny forever.