While digital distributors and studios are copying the formats of cable and broadcast networks, the latter are largely ignoring the ascension of digital originals — just like Vizzini, the character
in “The Princess Bride” who continually underestimates the threat from the Dread Pirate Roberts. For the most part, networks are simply creating companion content to supplement their TV product.
When they do consider digital, it’s to pluck stars from YouTube to bring them to TV — which in many cases will actually bring native digital stars a smaller audience. In fact, Chelsea Handler’s move
to Netflix could easily result in a larger audience than she had on E!