TV today isn’t what it used to be and beginning 2012 it will see some sweeping changes.
Those who said that the world would end in 2012, may not have been literally right, but they were figuratively correct. That’s because we saw trends in 2011 that heralds the end of the way things have been done traditionally. And beginning 2012 we will see many new ways and methods of doing the same thing, like watching television. TV has undergone so many changes in the last couple of years coming to a peak in 2011, that the future for TV is very different than anyone a few years back would have expected.
Consider this: today you have so many channels and so many shows that the hours of combined programming that is broadcast in a day today, is more than what a few decades used to be broadcast in a whole year. Today knowing what to watch is becoming a chore in itself.
Then there are the different types of screens in which people are watching TV, right from their smart phones, to their iPods, to their iPads, laptop etc. Not just that, unlike years back, today we are not just watching TV, we are multitasking with a second screen device, be it a mobile phone or a tablet, constantly in our hands i.e while watching shows, people are tweeting about it.
These devices have thrown in more things, like apps. Today you have apps of TV channels, apps for different shows, apps of websites and portals on TV shows, apps for brands that connect with TV shows etc. Today, the TV universe is thus not confined to only TV, but it has expanded to include a host of other things.
The ways of watching TV have also expanded. Besides live TV, today you have internet streaming, watching it on online channels like YouTube, on-demand TV etc.
TV today has thus become a multidimensional immersive experience where it is not just about watching a show, but also about staying connected with a second device.
“There’s more TV than I can possibly find time to watch. I can’t wait to get retired to watch the TV shows that I am not getting to watch right now,” says Christy Tanner, General Manager and Executive Vice President TVGuide.com while speaking at the Mashable Media Summit. Her speech gives some interesting insights about the future of TV.
Quoting a survey that TVGuide.com had done with its users, it says, “93% are watching live TV for their favourite shows. 20% of our users told us they watch live TV to avoid spoilers from friends. 50% are also watching TV online. 27% are planning to buy a tablet next year. 19% are willing to pay more for content because if they want it, they gotta have it.” There’s the future of TV for you. It lies not just on TV, but on other devices. Audiences are adapting TV and fitting them into the devices they carry.
They go on to state that, “There’s a lot of experimentation in the TV space but there are no winners yet.” 2012 would be the years when some winners will emerge. And as you would have expected from reading above, these winners would give their viewers an ‘immersive experience’. It’s all about the experience and the today the instrument of television as had existed, can indeed be called an ‘idiot box’. That’s because TV today is not just about TV, but the world around.
Social media has also ensured that watching TV is also a means of staying connected with friends and family. Thus beginning 2012, TV channels that confine themselves to just TV, would suffer and eventually fall off the grid. They have to get into other things like social media, developing apps for mobile phones, tablets, internet etc. The channel that ensures the smoothest transition between different mediums would be the one that would have the strongest survival rate.
Of course, these hold truer about how TV is in the west than it is in India. But the winds of change will sooner or later sweep India as well and those channels and service providers who are aware and then prepared for this change, will be the ones that will ride the crest.
April 22, 2013, 5:55 am UTC
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