ON-DEMAND, narrowcast streaming seems to be the name of the game in entertainment right now. With every channel worth its salt providing catch up services and, in some cases, extensive archives of their shows, it seems natural that some of the bigger media companies would take this sort of streaming to its next logical step; niche marketing targeted at fans of specific shows and franchises. Earlier this year, sports entertainment giant WWE launched the WWE Network, a subscription based, on-demand streaming service that allowed their viewers to watch any and all moments from their archives. Following in these footsteps, another of television’s big players has announced plans for a dedicated streaming service of their own.
Following their acquisition of exclusive cable rights to Matt Groening’s animated primetime mainstay through their FXX channel, media giant Fox has announced plans to provide unlimited streaming of every episode of the extensive archives of The Simpsons to subscribers to their service. For the first time ever, the classic show will be fully available online with the service reportedly allowing viewers to search by not only episode, but by quotes, characters and favourite moments. Combined with the ability to create playlists of favourite moments and episodes and limited sharing capabilities with non-subscribers allows for a whole new way for fans to enjoy an old favourite on any platform from their phone and tablets to computers and consoles.
Not only is this a breakthrough in accessible, dedicated viewing, but with the undeniable success of other streaming services such as Netflix it could be a stepping stone to the future of television, where users are able to watch whatever they want whenever they want. It may be a ways off yet before every show gets its own dedicated channel and app; for now though, it looks like everything’s coming up Milhouse for fans of television’s favourite yellow family.