It wasn’t so long ago that we were a slave to the television program schedulers – needing to rush back home to make sure we caught the start of our favorite soaps or dramas and even religiously tuning into the 6 o’clock news at dinnertime every night.
In 2013 however, the television landscape is dramatically different, with many of us now taking control of the airwaves and watching what we want, when we want.
The Death of TV Listings?
Who remembers a time when their parents bought a copy of a TV listings magazine such as the Radio Times or TV Times every week? Developed in an era when the idea of a TV Guide built into the TV itself was a mere fantasy, these publications must be sweating over their futures as more and more of us embrace on-demand services such as the BBC iPlayer and ITV Player as well as digital video recorders along the lines of Sky+ and Virgin’s TiVo box.
These innovations are allowing us to not only watch all of the best UK TV shows at our leisure but they are also ensuring we can watch more than ever before.
We no longer have to miss fantastic TV because it’s aired on a Wednesday night when you’re attending a weekly gym class, or any of the myriad of other reasons we used to miss out on a particular show. With this in mind it seems the day when programs become available to view on our DVRs rather than scheduled to be broadcast at a particular time is an inevitability.
The Future of TV Advertising
The developments in DVR technology and online streaming services have been fantastic for consumers – specifically TV-addicts who can now watch more content than ever before. However, these innovations do pose a major threat to television advertising, and by extension, the television networks themselves.
A study of US TV viewers published by JupiterResearch found that 53% of DVR users skip adverts, and if they do so all of the time, that represents a loss of $8 billion in wasted advertising expenditure.
However some people within the industry think that this figure is too low, and Garth Ancier the head of BBC Worldwide America has stated that his own figures suggest that a massive 97% of DVR subscribers are fast-forwarding through the ad breaks.
On-demand services such as ITV Player and 4OD have already implemented non-skippable ads however it is the DVR market that is of real concern. Should advertisers decide that traditional television advertising is a waste of their money and cease the use of the medium altogether then this will have significant consequences for networks that rely on that revenue.
It is undoubtedly an exciting time for us as viewers, as the television experience becomes more and more customize-able to our own individual preferences, but as with every new technology there are a number of obstacles to overcome for those within the industry to ensure that we continue to receive a fantastic level of entertainment.