From The Set Top Box To iTunes To Netflix

Netflix watch instantly Jason Kinkaid has an interesting post on Techcrunch today about the summer TV doldrums and the opportunity this time of year presents for catching up on earlier seasons of shows you like.

I like to watch what my kids do, particularly as it relates to entertainment, as it gives me a clue about where things are going. And my kids are doing exactly what Jason suggests. They are catching up on prior seasons of Friday Night Lights, The Office, and Weeds.

This is not new behavior for them. They've been using the off season to do this for a few years and they used to purchase the older seasons on iTunes and watch them on their laptops.

That would drive me crazy because often one or two or all three kids would purchase the exact same season of shows on their respective computers. I would push them to share their purchased shows and often they would do that, but not always.

So I am happy to report that they've moved on from iTunes and are now watching these older seasons on Netflix Watch Instantly, both via the browser and on Boxee (the photo above is Netflix on Boxee in our family room).

The other interesting development is they are moving away from watching these older seasons on their laptops. They still do that quite a bit, but I've noticed that more and more they are opting to watch on the Mac Minis we've got connected to big screen TVs in our home. When they have friends over, it used to be the set top box was the device they'd watch TV on the most. Now its the Mac Mini.

Last week, some on Wall Street got all crazy about a research report written by a 15 year old intern at Morgan Stanley.  I read the research report as it was sent to me by about a half dozen friends who work on Wall Street and indeed it had some interesting insights in it. But not all 15 year olds are alike. Just as it is dangerous to read too much into what my kids do, it is dangerous to read too much into what a 15 year old in London does. But it is absolutely critical to pay attention to what teens all over the world, particularly the developed world, are doing. And one thing they are doing is changing their media consumption habits quickly.

My kids have moved from the set top box to iTunes to Netflix in less than a couple years and are now watching much of their TV streamed over the Internet. I expect they are not alone. It's a trend worth watching.

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