We already know that gamers love viral videos, but just wait. According to a new study by technology research firm, In-Stat, gamers are ushering in the next wave of Tube surfing.
Already 29% of players are using their Net-enable videogame consoles, the Microsoft Xbox 360 and Sony Playstation 3, to stream Netflix movies or watch online videos. Within five years, a total 24 million homes will be watching Web videos on TV. The tipping point is expected to come in 2011. So the question is - what does this mean for entertainment and technology? Network TV will continue to have to evolve to retain viewers' eyeballs. We've seen attempts at this by shows such as Lost and Heroes, which have introduced online content that expands the mythology of the TV show worlds. But what's next? How about an online property that becomes a phenomenon, and later winds up on TV? Is the Star Trek of the Internet on the verge of happening? Attempts have been made with often lackluster results, though a few - such as Dr. Horrible's Sing-Aong Blog by Joss Whedon - stand out. With more viewers watching Web vids on the Tube, the innovation has surely just begun.
David Kushner is the author of many books, including Masters of Doom, Jonny Magic & the Card Shark Kids, Levittown, The Bones of Marianna, and Alligator Candy. A contributing editor of Rolling Stone, he has written for publications including The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Wired, and The New York Times Magazine.