The rise of the Internet (and so, the Cloud-based services) and other technological innovations have dramatically revolutionized the way we live our lives, and especially the way in which we consume media.
The television industry, which has been a model for stability and success since the Fifties (let think about the American example), is now under intense pressure to maintain its revenue streams and margins in the face of Internet-based competition.
With advertising revenues especially threatened, it is not clear how broadcast networks can continue to remain sustainable without significantly changing the nature of their programming or entering the online space themselves.
As Internet penetration increases and the population becomes more tech-oriented, it is plausible to suggest that television networks and cable services may cease to exist. However, it is impossible to predict the technological changes that may occur in the next 50 years, which is why I will focus on the more immediate future.
First consideration I make is the changing in the user behavior. It seems we have a shift of users’ behavior in the misty trends of technological achievements. From a study by the University of New York (May, 2013), it results that a considerable part of consumers have really particular tastes in videos choice and that Internet is the medium to satisfy their requests. However, there is a clear preference for the future.
With the multiple devices that have access to Internet-based services (gaming consoles, mobile devices, streaming online, Internet-TV and others) it is evident that this multiple platform offer has changed the TV-watching experience. The obvious advantages are the wireless connection, everywhere availability, no advertisements, content self-management, better quality, high-level extra functions, new displays qualities, minor costs.
Although, I believe that TV sets and cable boxes will continue to exist, however the purpose that they serve will change significantly. As more and more people watch TV shows online and on-demand, it becomes increasingly challenging for networks to attract and retain advertisers for on-air broadcasts.
But, from a consumer standpoint, there are two major drawbacks of the current
television model: a lack of flexibility and the potential for confusion, which reduces effectiveness.
These two critical points lead to a bigger problem; the lack of transparency!
Another important role in changing forever the landscape of streaming video and the behavior is the smart and social evolution.
In particular, smartphones (tablets and other handheld devices) and social networking have changed our way to interact with media and the outside world.
What is more interesting though is the cross-platform engagement displayed by users while watching television. The multitasking applied to the viewers! Users check their email during a program; others visit a social networking site, often to comment or blog about the show they are watching.
Cable and satellite services are usually structured as a packaged deal featuring a multitude of channels and programming. While access to more content may be desirable in some ways, most consumers have very specific tastes in terms of what they want, thereby rendering most of the channels they subscribe to worthless
Nevertheless, the demand for news telecasts, award shows, election coverage, sports, essentially live events, remains steady and will drive networks in the immediate and midterm future.