Is there a more obvious first world problem, than stating that there’s too much media to consume? I accept this, but at the same time the fact of the matter is, there is too much media to consume.
This isn’t a new problem, sure streaming services have brought content into households, but before that we had the video rental place down the road, with shelves stacked full of content. We’ve just replaced Blockbuster and Video EZ with Netflix and Amazon Prime. We just have an increased availability and accessibility of content (proof that innovation can be the best anti piracy measure)
But with all of this content available there’s always a possibility of missing out, we all have mile long lists of “stuff we’ve been meaning to get around to watching.” By deciding to consume one type of media, there is always a massive opportunity cost, to our most valuable resource which is time.
Which is why unless I get into a show from the start, I don’t tend to watch shows that are more than 30 episodes long, and I’m assuming I’m not the only one.
This is a problem for content creators. With all this choice available, how do you get consumers to invest hours into a show they’ve never seen before, especially with the 23 episode format. Especially as these shows are notorious for padding out the 23 episode with filler, ironically to fulfill their obligation to produce 23 episodes.
I think this is one of the reasons British TV shows are suddenly in vogue. There’s always been a market for them, anglophiles in particular, people who associate britain with culture and sophistication.
But since British shows are more readily available, they now serve as a more compact option. Now I’m not going to say this is the only reason for their popularity, those shows are genuine quality with tight writing and acting. But with a 6 episode season you can get a compelling story, with no filler, which you can enjoy in 3 hours and then move on with your life.
This could all just be a matter of personal preference and I just value brevity in the media I consume. But it’s interesting that the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime have started to favour a shorter season too.
Netflix in particular have become immensily popular in households all over the world. A major factor of this popularity is in house production, while admittedly is of varying quality, but when it’s good, it’s really good (e.g. Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Dirk Gently and The Good Place)
Maybe this is the way traditional media will move to also, eventually, hard to tell with network executives with feet made of lead, constantly scared to taking risks.
The fun thing about new media is there’s no way of telling which way it will turn. Too many factors. I haven’t even mentioned vastly different form of media, such as things you might find on youtube and twitch, places you can find even more personalised content.
Will traditional media still exist in the future to come? Is this just a matter of those damn millenials ruining everything? How do you all like to view your media? Most importantly, why is there so much content but literally never anything to watch?