The web is shaping up as the brave new frontier for television, according to a report from a British digital media consultancy.
In the second edition of its research report, The Birth of Online TV, Futurescape identifies three major trends it says are helping to spawn a web television industry:
* More stars are launching Internet TV shows, often funded by major sponsors
* The emergence of sound business models and commercial opportunities
* Web shows are expected to break out across the entertainment sector as a whole
While it might be tempting to dismiss Futurescape’s findings as self-serving — its research does, after all, focus on original Web TV shows — there can be no doubt that the line between the web and television is blurring and someday may be erased altogether. As Futurescape accurately notes:
A complex sector is developing in which Hollywood studios, Web TV studios, major broadcasters, international production companies, talent-led start-ups and social networking sites compete and co-operate to create online TV as a unique medium.
Among the Hollywood talent producing their own Internet TV shows are:
X-Men director Bryan Singer, who reportedly is working on a science fiction web TV series with a Lost vibe
Friends star Lisa Kudrow, who co-created and stars in the comedy Web Therapy, which is sponsored by Toyota
Ashton Kutcher (isn’t he like a Twitter star or something?) has launched Blah Girls, a celebrity gossip animation show, sponsored by Vitamin Water
Futurescape is selling its 80-page report from $1,215, but if you click here you can get the table of contents, sample pages and a case study for free.