In case you hadn’t noticed, television is dying. Whether it’s illegal downloads, streaming services, cord-cutters, or something else, the traditional way of absorbing entertainment through our eyes is going away.
That’s why, in 2017, you’re more likely to have a friend that subscribes to Netflix or Hulu than you are someone who actually pays for a full (and extremely expensive) cable package.
So it should come as no surprise that entertainers are following suit. Some of the best minds in television and movies are getting involved with streaming services, creating TV shows like Stranger Things and The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and House of Cards – shows that win awards and capture audiences across the world without needing Comcast or Optimum to do it.
And comedians are no exception. For decades, the best way to consume comedy was either in a club or through the infamous HBO special. It was the mark of a successful comedian. When you saw a name attached to an HBO special, you knew that comedian was a big deal.
In 2017, that’s no longer the case. HBO isn’t just traditional television – it’s premium traditional television. And while the service has started to adapt with offerings like HBO Go, evidence indicates that it might already be behind the 8 ball.
That evidence is that in 2017, comedians like Mike Birbiglia, Dave Chappelle, and now Louis CK are releasing their specials on Netflix and nowhere else. Those are some of the biggest comedians in the world right now and the fact that they’re choosing Netflix should tell you something. In fact, the Louis CK special might be the biggest of them all.
Louis CK is arguably the biggest headliner in comedy right now. And for years, he was releasing his specials directly to his audience. You could pay $5 and buy it right from Louis through his website and that was it. There was no middle man. He loved the control that format gave him and fans loved how easy it was.
But now he’s on the Netflix bandwagon, too. And for subscribers (like me), that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it means that even the rebels in entertainment are joining the Netflix train. And if you’re smart, you’ll grab a seat too. Because it’s the funniest train out there and that won’t be changing any time soon.