Here’s when you know innovation has gone mainstream: People stop talking about it.
By name, that is. Some old-school examples: When’s the last time you casually mentioned you were about to use “the postal system” to deliver a sealed envelope? Can you recall a moment when you announced you’d need to make use of “electricity” to fire up a cool new music appliance? How about television itself? Do you “turn on the television set” or do you simply watch a show?
When the semantics around devices and technologies recede into the conversational background, we know they’ve truly arrived. That moment is getting closer with regard to Internet-streamed video, but we’re not quite there yet.
Proof exists in a recent edition of the New York Times, which described comedian Tina Fey’s Netflix-bound original comedy series this way:
“The longtime collaborators Tina Fey and Robert Carlock return to producing television (albeit the streaming variety) with a new series starring Ellie Kemper.”
The telltale reference to “the streaming variety” offers a popular culture indicator of where Internet video stands circa 2015. Here, the writer presumes it’s important to explain that a new show from one of today’s greatest comedic minds happens to fall into the “streaming” category. The act is notable by contrast. Had Fey’s new creation, “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” been destined for CBS, we doubt the article would bother to describe it as a “broadcast network” TV show.
The same phenomenon used to prevail with “cable TV” programs, but has long since faded. Now, the designator that matters is merely which of many networks (USA Network, FX, et al)…