I consume my fair share of streaming content. Between Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, Pandora, Songza, Spotify, and YouTube, I get a lot of my entertainment this way and rely on it every day. It's the way of the future with new original content coming out on some of these services as well as them being an important tool for discovering different content that would otherwise go unnoticed. This is why I'm a big supporter of these platforms. They democratize the consumption of content, allowing for more people to enjoy more awesome things whenever they want and however they want. I see that as a pretty positive thing. Unfortunately there are some critics out there and especially with death knells like net neutrality lingering out there which threaten the thriving ecosystem of the Internet, I feel now is as good a time as ever to reinforce the positives of streaming media services.
As I mentioned before, people are now able to enjoy whatever they want, whenever they want. This could mean that I can watch news on the train, silly videos in bed, or listen to podcasts when I work out. This empowers people to be more informed, relaxed, and makes things like commutes or long drives more enjoyable and bearable. I don't see anything wrong with that! Obviously we all can't binge Netflix all the time, but we now can consume quick bits wherever we are so that we stay connected to what is important to us.
With the wide open access of content available currently, it is amazing the incredible diversity of content that is out there. Small, independent music, television, and podcasts can reach a wide audience or even just simply connect with their niche of fans. Whatever the topic or genre of content, there is sure to be an audience for it and there isn't an establishment saying that it doesn't track well with the mainstream. We can all be our weird, fun, uniquely authentic selves and it's okay!
A big part of this that I enjoy is the community I see online around YouTube channels, Spotify playlists, or even niche television shows (like Community, House of Cards, Sleepy Hollow, Orange is the New Black, Arrow/The Flash, or even Scandal) where every piece of new content is an event and is talked about, shared, and remixed, mashed up, or fan art is created inspired by it. It's great to see passionate people come together to connect over their mutual love of something. It can be huge for a lot of us lonely geeks and nerds out there who may feel like we are alone in enjoying whatever we're into. It's important to find others to geek out with!
Streaming media services are here to say, regardless of what people like Taylor Swift say or hopefully whatever comes of the net neutrality decision. Support your favorite independent content, share awesome stuff you find with friends, and keep streaming my friends!