The 2006 Saturday Night Live Digital Short, Lazy Sunday, which was itself a parody of the recent release of the feature film, The Chronicles of Narnia, arguably changed the way that a significant set of the population watches television. The segment was recieved so favorably when it first aired live that it was uploaded through video aggregation sites like YouTube and posted elsewhere throughout the Internet. NBC Universal recognized this re-posting of its television content online as a loss of potential revenue, and only after the fact realized that providing free, but limited, access to its content online was actually a good business model. Note the amount of advertisement surrounding the content on NBC’s Lazy Sunday webpage:
Do you still watch television programming from begining to end, or do you wait for just the juicy bits to be posted online, predigested and edited to give you more time to watch the latest and funniestYouTube clip of dogs chasing their own tails? How have video aggregation websites (Hulu, YouTube…) and network television’s evolution into posting its content online for “free” (after the “cost” of watching a 30 sec. ad) changed our viewing habits? What larger societal consequences might result from this change?
This new way of listening to (podcasts) and viewing live broadcast media at a time that is more convenient to the individual user is called a “Time Shift” in Media Studies speak. It makes us sound suddenly very futuristic, no?