My Saturday evenings when I was growing up are always a fond memory. This was mainly down to the great TV shows our family would watch together – Gladiators, Blind Date and (of course) Baywatch to name but a few. It’s something that doesn’t happen these days.
Sure there is huge blockbusting TV shows that fans impatiently await to watch on TV for fear of spoilers online, Game of Thrones for example, but increasingly this content is available through streaming and on-demand services such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon. There are persistent rumours that YouTube and Apple will make their entry into this market in the near future. Is on-demand slowly killing off traditional TV or is there still a place and an audience for it?
What Do We Know
In the short-term traditional TV definitely isn’t going anywhere. There are still a huge number of households that subscribe to Satellite TV. These have a huge hold over the pay-per view market and sports coverage (for now). That’s not to say that strides are not being made by streaming services to break into this market and offer live sports online.
Most analysts are in agreement that the significant increase in on-demand TV coupled with declining viewer figures for traditional paint a bleak picture for the traditional model’s future. It should be no surprise to learn that younger generations watch less live TV than older generations although the increase of online viewing is evident in other age groups with 40% of all age groups now owning a smart TV, streaming device or streaming stick.
Decline or Adapt
In order to buck the trend can traditional TV adapt or will they remain defiant to the end before drifting away from our lives forever? Well we’ve already seen television companies adapt their offering and have streaming options available for customers which complement their TV offerings. Amongst others, HBO and Sky have entered this market with HBO Now and Sky Now.
TV companies were on the back foot from the beginning, they became too comfortable and complacent due to their complete control in this market and it took too long to realise they faced a serious threat from streaming services. Let’s not forget Netflix’s streaming technology did not exist a decade ago, today it has 57.4 million subscribers, and is continuing to grow.
This is a closer battle than you might believe. There’s no doubt that streaming services have changed the landscape and continue to grow rapidly. It’s not all bad news for TV though and I’m fairly confident it will survive in some capacity with only 2% of the population exclusively streaming content; the other 98% split their time between traditional TV and streaming.In the long run it streaming is only going to get more reliable Smart TV purchases will continue to rise. This will force TV companies to morph into a hybrid of on-demand and live programming in order to remain relevant. Me? I’m just going to sit back and enjoy the show!
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