Sure, we’re living in a new golden age of television. But that doesn’t mean that everything on TV is actually on a TV. From cable to satellite to streaming online, and from 80-inch screens in the living room to 4-inch ones in our palms, nearly every part of the entertainment industry is being transformed. Here are just three ways movies and TV will be transformed this year.
1. Cable unbundling begins
One of the long-standing annoyances of cable and satellite television—having to pay for channels you don’t want in order to get the one or two you actually do watch—will start dying a slow death this year. The Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission, at the request of the federal government, is investigating the impact of cable unbundling and is due to report by the end of April. Changes won’t happen immediately, but savvy providers might try to get out ahead of the trend to avoid losing subscribers to services like Netflix.
2. Netflix goes feature length
The streaming company made a big (and mostly successful) bet on original content last year. In 2014, Netflix will do so again by producing its first feature-length movie. Netflix needs exclusive content to entice subscribers, and it will generate loads of publicity with a feature film, especially if it snares big-name stars.
3. “China’s Netflix” gets its own House of Cards
Often billed as China’s answer to YouTube, Youku is actually closer to Netflix; it’s a streaming video site that relies on a vast library of licensed movies and television to draw in a growing audience hungry for the best western and Asian content. Like Netflix, Youku is also expanding into original programming. Right now its main product is shows produced elsewhere—including offerings like BBC’s Sherlock and the Netflix original Orange Is the New Black. A 2012 merger with rival Tudou left Youku, which trades on the New York Stock Exchange, as the unquestioned Chinese leader in this space.