It was all a dream.

The traditional television network business was straightforward: get carriage, grow eyeballs, and sell ads. Online will work very differently. Here, we explain the four models of video providers in the digital era, including what they are, how they work, how to establish one and the risks involved.

Yet, just like the child who wakes up one day to find themselves with a new, younger sibling, traditional media companies are facing the emergence of new, louder, and needier competitors for attention. Netflix, YouTube, the major social networks, and scores of new digital brands may have started small, but they’re quickly becoming the dominant feeds in the lives of tens of millions. And it shows.