The Golden Globes are the Future of Entertainment
This year’s TV nominations show just how profoundly tech has changed our lives.
This year’s Golden Globes TV nominations have one distinctive feature. You don’t notice it, until you look for it. But once you do, it reveals a deep and exciting truth about how we live now.
Have you seen it yet? No? Okay, we’ll clue you in: Many of the Golden Globes TV nominations are not for television shows. They’re for streaming web content:House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, from Netflix, and Amazon’s Transparent. These aren’t shows that have ever aired from a broadcast network, or even on cable. They were probably seen just as frequently through laptop monitors as they were through televisions. They’re purely digital content — yet we accept them as “art,” and as TV, nevertheless.
The web is becoming our one-stop shop, in other words. From its early days as a text-based medium, it’s now eating into the share of every traditional media channel. If you listen to music at work, you probably do so through a streaming music service like Spotify or Pandora. (In fact, young people are more likely to get their music through Spotify or YouTube than they are to download albums.) If you watch old TV or movies, you probably don’t own lots of DVDs: You just stream them through Netflix or Amazon. And if you read the news, you might just spend more time with the web edition of the New York Times or The Atlantic than you ever do with print.
In 2014, we don’t have web media; the web is the media. As a result, we’re developing new entertainment that is exclusively web-based. Shows like Orange is the New Black are the most obvious example of this. But there are also forms of entertainment, like web-based comedy videos and online pages for streaming new albums, that could not have existed before the web. In time, we may even evolve entirely new art forms that are solely based around the web’s realities — or maybe, by that time, we’ll be getting all of our entertainment through augmented-reality tools like the Oculus Rift or the forthcoming Magic Leap, making streaming video seem quaint.
The most remarkable part of all this is how non-remarkable it seems: We’ve accepted the process of moving our lives online, owning less and streaming more, almost seamlessly. Tech is truly changing the foundation of our lives — and the shape of art — and many of us have taken this paradigm shift almost for granted. But, as our lives steadily become more and more digital, we’re struck by how hard so many brilliant people have worked to change the nature of entertainment, and to make it easier for all of us to have fun.
This post originally appeared on the Dave Partners blog.