Classic TV is dead. At least when it concerns the younger generations. For those under 30 years of age, the device itself is increasingly less relevant, watching television seems somewhat archaic in times when you can set up your own programming online. In terms of entertainment, Netflix and Amazon have stolen the market from expensive and absurdly overdimensioned cable packages. The web has democratized and freed consumption habits for users. Who would wait two hours to watch a show when it’s available at all times?
Many broadcaster spend millions to improve their digital performance in cable packages, but the thing that then causes an inconvenience is the bulky device – the future is in laptops, tablets and mobile phones. The TV is in the terminal phase of an illness that has no cure.
The historical yardstick for television consumption, the United States, sets trends. An indisputable trend is that homes that have televisions fell from 115.9 to 114.1 million in 2011, which shows more than just a trend. Nearly three million households are only connected to broadband and not to any cable operator within the US.
If the big players, both in information as well as entertainment, do not want to lose their users, their clients and, therefore, their income, they have to use another strategy. For CNN, DW or BBC the danger comes from the web. Where do young people get their information? What is their favorite source? Facebook, a place of dubious reputation with questionable journalistic sources, skills and intentions. But this doesn’t seem to bother the youngest ones.
Many classical media outlets try to measure themselves by their number of Followers (purchased) and advocate for a completely obsolete transmitter-receiver model. A digital and social media strategy is crucial if they do not want to fall into absolute irrelevance in the coming years. Self-deception is detected in the Followers-interaction relationship, which in many cases is absurdly excessive.
Clearly, the large box, with as much high resolution and as slim as it may be, will become an extension of the smart and mobile device – the tablet, the computer – and contents will come through the latter’s broadband. Getting expensive infrastructure to look for contents in the magic box called television no longer makes sense, neither do the expensive output infrastructures. The important thing is to create high quality content to convince the public. Netflix does so with entertainment such as House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black, however, with information, the battle is just beginning. For now Facebook is the winner, a fact that is more than worrying.
‘The long-prognosticated death of TV may be happening before our eyes—but at a glacial pace.’ I do agree to Time’s conclusion, the pace may be glacial, but in 10 years time television – as we know it now – will be dead.