This weekend, I was watching The Alien, 48 year old Bernard Hopkins defend his title against Karo Murat, the 30 year old challenger from Germany.
The fight was fairly spirited and I was thoroughly engaged.
But as my salsa and cheese dip decided they wanted out, I had a difficult choice to make.
Do I suffer through the next six rounds and try to suppress my bowels or make a b-line for the commode and miss the fight?
My trips to the latrine are rarely brief.
My intestines got the better of me, and as round six ended, I reluctantly broke for the bathroom.
Back in the day, this story would have ended with me Googling the results or checking The Bleacher Report or ESPN.
But something told me to check out the App Store to see if there was an app that would let me watch the fight live from the toilet.
The fight was on Showtime, so I decided I’d start there.
What was there to lose?
As I plopped down upon my throne to handle the affairs of state, I whipped out my iPhone and quickly located the Showtime Anytime app.
I downloaded and launched the app, and true to form, there was a Live TV tab in the footer.
When it pulled up the program choices, there was a ‘Watch Now’ button next to the Hopkins/Murat listing of the fight.
Before I knew it, I had taken in six rounds of boxing on the crapper, and I realized that broadcasting had come a long way.
The future of broadcasting was in my hands.
No. Not the toilet paper. I had already flushed that.
Although toilet paper is a wonderful invention.
I’m talking about apps which allow you to consume live media.
I think HBO was the first content provider to drop an app which let their subscribers access content from their mobile devices.
Others quickly followed suit and there were similar offerings from the likes of ESPN, A&E and Cartoon Network.
Soon regular broadcast players joined, including ABC, PBS, CBS and TBS.
Not to be left out, cable providers made sure they had skin in the game with their apps, including Time Warner, Cablevision, Verizon Fios and Xfinity.
The battle for eyeballs has gotten so fierce that if you’re not present on all platforms, you’re giving up valuable ground to the competition.
It used to be enough to have a broadcast channel with good content.
Back in the day, all you had were the broadcast television networks, like ABC, CBS, and NBC.
The networks had a virtual monopoly.
Then came cable, which changed the game.
No longer were you restricted to ‘tame’ television.
You had options. And no commercials.
And then the internet decided to change things up a little more, offering tons of video content that you couldn’t find on television or cable.
And for the most part, it was free.
YouTube was the genesis of this, but other players like Hulu and Vimeo kept things interesting (and ever expanding with user generated videos and internet only shows).
When Netflix brought their DVDs by mail into the home, first streaming over the internet and then through set top boxes, the broadcast ecosystem fractured even further.
And now there’s mobile.
It’s not enough that you’re proficient on one platform at the expense of the others.
To meet the needs of an increasingly mobile and demanding audience, you’ve got to master them all.
And as a content creator, you’re going to want to leverage distribution methods that ensure you’re meeting your audience, wherever they are.
If you’re not simulcasting (or offering your content simultaneously across multiple platforms), best believe the next guy is.
As technology evolves, users are going to expect faster, more streamlined access to all forms of media.
I predict that in the future, we’re going to see more players offering content that is traditionally delivered to televisions being delivered to set top boxes, online, and through apps simultaneously.