Actually, a look back at television history indicates there’s been an ongoing change, subtle at times, kicking and screaming change at other times, but now the change clearly is visible as you watch. What’s going on with television?
First, let’s examine what TV is. It’s a screen which displays video– news, information, advertisements, and entertainment of all sorts. How does standard broadcast TV and cable TV differ from watching YouTube or any of the gazillion and 40 streaming video channels coming down the interwebs to TVs, PCs, Macs, iPhones, iPads, and other smartphones and tablets?
They’re all the same. Network television, including TV channels, usually have the largest audience watching any single program at a time, but many, many millions are online watching something, somewhere, at some time. Adobe’s Video Benchmark Report gives more than a clue, and actually outlines the trend taking place as we watch.
In short, TV streaming is up nearly 400-percent per year. Last year there were 165-billion online video starts. Sports events are a big part of that growth, but the growth is everywhere there’s an internet connection. Traditional broadcasters and content providers are struggling to maintain relevancy as mobile device owners steadily add more options to their viewing habits.
TV isn’t dying. It’s changing. Here’s how you can tell.
20 years ago what did you watch that we call ‘TV?’ Most likely it was the basic networks, plus cable TV networks, and, ah, um, that’s about it. What do you watch today? The aforementioned sources are still there, in greater numbers, too, but hundreds to thousands of viewing choices are also available.
That explains why traditional network and cable TV viewing hours are down. People are viewing videos more than ever– whether it be news, information, or entertainment– but they’re choosing from a wider array of viewing sources; many of them on mobile devices, and often at the expensive of traditional viewing habits.
Television was once limited in most U.S. markets to three or four TV stations. Cable TV changed that and as more viewers subscribed to TV, more networks were made available. The internet provides even more sources for TV viewing, no longer limited to the wide screen up against the wall. TV is mobile, but it’s still TV, and it’s changing while you watch.