Netcasting: The Next Big Thing?

One thing that absolutely influenced my decision to relaunch Digital Lust was my reintroduction to Leo Laporte and all of his friends. Leo, former host of The Screen Savers and Call for Help on the defunct TechTV, is a technological celebrity–the man loves his gadgets, and will learn everything about them in order to teach his followers. And quite a few of those he has.

After TechTV and G4 merged back in 2004 to form G4TechTV (which later became just G4 once again), Laporte opted out of his contract, and thus a revolution began. Call for Help saw cancellation, and The Screen Savers turned into Attack of the Show, which still airs today on G4. Leo continued to host a Canadian version of Call for Help, but that too eventually saw cancellation. Leo was practically out of the spotlight, except for his website.

And then, in 2006, as podcasting started to become more and more popular, Leo launched This Week in Tech, a weekly podcast hosted by Leo himself and some of his industry friends. The show became so popular, that an entire channel’s worth of shows had began being developed, right from Leo’s cottage in San Francisco, as part of his new Twit.TV service (Twit stands for This Week in Tech, the show that started it all).

Today, Leo Laporte’s netcasts are more popular than ever. Twit.TV is bigger than ever, set to relaunch in an all new, million-dollar studio later this month. He has the advertisers and the support of his community, something that all television outlets seek to achieve. His shows are available to watch on any Roku device. They’re downloadable on iTunes. You can watch them live. Leo Laporte is onto something, if you ask me. What started as a simple radio show on the Internet has evolved into something much greater than that. In essence, it is almost as if TechTV has been reborn, this time without the use of cable. Could we see more of this in the coming years?

Absolutely. In today’s age, the term “digital streaming” is key to success. As all of the major networks are finding out, making content available online is essential to keeping your demographics in check with their favorite programs. The cost of operating an online-only “network” and streaming it through different capacities is much less than the hassle of being part of a television network.

There is another example of a great netcasting “network” that I can’t ignore–Revision3. Revision3 was started by Kevin Rose, founder of Digg.com, and another former alumnus of TechTV’s The Screen Savers. While Twit.TV appeals to more of the “looking for help” crowd that Laporte has always been so excellent at serving, Revision3 appears geared at a younger demographic, possibly targeted at the 18-25 male category. Both Twit.TV and Revision3 are shining examples of what different studios can hope to accomplish in the future. Studios and networks could save plenty of money by offering their shows via Internet and not through cable.

What does this mean for consumers? As the cost of cable rises and people are paying more for services that they are using less, I believe that both Twit.TV and Revision3 are going to continue to soar, and provide other companies the vision where we can live in a world without cable–where people can watch only what they want to watch, when they want to watch it. With the mobile industry booming, it is becoming more appealing to have the ability to take your shows on the go. It will be quite some time before people ditch their cable services completely–but it is starting to look more and more like a reality.

It will certainly be amazing to see how this plays out in the next few years–but if you ask me, cable TV is doomed.

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About digilust
I'm 23 years old, hailing from the great city of Orlando, FL. I previously ran the popular variety blog "That One Blog," but became too busy to be able to continue pursuing it. I'm now back and ready to stream awesome new content with my new blog!

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