I can remember all of my friends talking about the latest episode of Friends. I never cared to watch the show, but they were really excited about what was happening. Thing was, what if one of those people had to miss it for some reason. You could record the show, but only if your mom knew how to work the VCR. If you missed the show, that was it (unless you tracked down the TV guide during the rerun period in the summer and happened to find the episode you were looking for).

Now, the TV world has completely changed. Without having to make much of an effort, you can watch your favorite shows with a few clicks of a mouse. How? sites like Hulu pioneered the idea in 2007. You stream the videos online. So, if you missed your favorite show, it didn’t really matter because you could watch it anytime after that. Furthermore, you could watch classic shows that had gone off the air (like Arrested Development, Heman, The Cosby Show, etc.).

Soon after, individual Tv stations started streaming their own content (so they wouldn’t be left behind the streaming scene). Soon after, the DVD shipping company Netflix jumped on the streaming bandwagon (adding the ability to stream movies directly to your computer available to customers).

For years, Hulu was completely free. However, as is the case with all successful ventures, Hulu had o find a way to make money outside of the advertising revenue. So, they introduced Hulu+. WIth Hulu+, you got to watch all the movies and old TV shows that Hulu used to have available to everyone. So, in order to make sure you don’t miss an episode, all you have to do is watch your episode within the first five weeks after the show aired. After that, the episode rolls onto Hulu+ content, and you won’t see it. Even still, that’s better than having to worry about VHS tapes and technologically backward VCRs.

Does this mean that traditional TVs are going to become obsolete? I doubt that, because a computer screen still doesn’t rival a 55″ flat screen. Furthermore, you can’t stream sports games after the fact on Hulu. However, TV is definitely losing its sitcom audience to online content. It’ll be interesting to see what happens next.

About the Author

Jordan Freis is a freelance writer for MyCollegesandCareers.com. My Colleges and Careers helps people determine if an online education is right for them and helps them understand what kinds of online colleges are available to help them reach their goals.