Recently I read an article; 5 Reasons Why Watching Live TV is Good For You and couldn't help but recall the advent of the first of such types of articles from newspaper supporters. It reminded me of a 5 year old article on newspapers: 10 Reasons You'll Actually Miss Newspapers.
CEO of Netflix, Reed Hastings recently predicted the demise of broadcast TV within 16 years, suggesting it "will be another casualty of evolution" and claiming it "will probably last until 2030,” and likening it to “kind of like the horse — you know, the horse was good until we had the car.”
These platforms begin to flail when consumer driven change and the technology that may drive consumer demand is ignored because of the volumes of revenue associated with the platform.
It's also about content but in a new context. Content is still king but as Jonathan Perelman of Buzzfeed once quipped - "distribution is Queen and she wears the pants"! The latter is the fundamental element often overlooked. We tend to hold onto the notion that distribution is the most powerful component and as such is the least vulnerable to change when exactly the opposite is true.
To illustrate, the 5 reasons from the article are; serendipity, curiosity and awesome delight, the time to do something else, to reduce (social) anxiety and to be in the present - can all be delivered by non-live TV or another medium, another form of distribution? The bonus is a consumer doesn't have to adhere to a broadcaster's scheduling.
We could attach any one of these 'reasons' to any medium. Online is king of serendipity and curiosity and selecting what, where and when you want is the ultimate in enabling time for something else. #FOMO was usurped when #JOMO (Joy Of Missing Out) was identified as far back as 12 months ago (that is, I really don't care if I miss it live - I'll catch up in my own time because a TV schedule doesn't rule my life) and SVOD or streaming isn't only consumed in 'binge' quantities, enabling you to be 'present'.
In the instances where (questionably) not, it's a fair stretch to suggest TV is good for you. It's certainly not a data-centric insight.
If we're honest the reality is 82% of content watched live has more to do with that measure not being compared with those watching via other platforms (i.e. catch up online as opposed to it being a measure against other TV time dimensions alone) than a desire for consumers to specifically want to view (only) in this manner. They are separate measures. It also has much to do with content rights resting with TV broadcasters and not digital entities (or their own digital assets)…yet.
As a sample of one, I consume live TV for sport and occasionally for news. All other content and the majority of my news I access online but it doesn't seem that long ago I consumed news from a newspaper.
Ask anyone under 50 if they could live without (traditional) TV currently and then if they think they will be living without it in 5 years. I'm sure you can guess what the answer will be from the majority. Their prediction for 5 years will give you a better indication than their current behaviours and preferences.
In hast to judge though, we should be mindful that in a couple of decades, it's possible subsequent generations will be wiring of the demise of digital??!!
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