The Nielsen ratings are out and the statistics are grim. The youthful crowd that once spent their time glued to the television are shifting away from traditional TV and instead are watching their favorite shows online through their computers, Smart TV’s and multi-media devices. Less than half of the technology- savvy youth believe television is the most important source for relaxation and entertainment.
Death by Aging
Traditional television hasn’t taken a death blow yet. It still has a very large client base in viewers aged fifty and over. It still energizes, although not quite so vibrantly, for major events, such as The Super Bowl, the Olympics and Award Performances. Yet even in the once untouchable arena of live events, many viewers are switching to You-Tube updates and posting comments on the developments at Twitter and Facebook. The Interactive world is sharing the activities with a text and mobile phone driven crowd.
Typically, young people do watch less television than the older generation. They are more physically active, more inclined to dine out, attend concerts or participate in events. The youth of today have different attitudes, however. The options for scheduled viewing pleasure have been replaced by a demand to watch what they want, when they want to watch it.
The Digital Media Shift
The advent of mobile devices has created a freedom for a youthful crowd busy with completing their education, joining the work force, and creating families. Many TV and Internet Providers have services that allow customers to download programming into their mobile device, for later viewing without an Internet connection, such as DIRECT TV’s Genie Go,.
Cable television, once the preferred option of subscribers, apparently reached its peak in the year 2000, with a total of 68.5 million subscriptions in the United States alone. New viewers are no longer interested in stand-alone cable television services. Cable companies have lost an average of one million viewers per year, while Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video are picking up heat.
The new customer preferences are for combined Internet/Television services that offer high-definition programming, On Demand viewing and mobile applications. They carefully check TV provider information for package bundles that use digital high-definition instead of analog, DVR recording for shows they don’t want to miss, and smooth streaming for their mobile devices.
The Inaccuracies of Rating
The dwindling interest in live TV has created a dilemma for advertisers who have depended on television show ratings for the strategies of their marketing campaign. The ratings no longer reflect the number of people who actually viewed the show or watched the series. Online video viewing has increased, rocketing to fame series such as Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead. Adjusting to the times, some networks have begun catering the Internet crowd. CBS recently launched an online version of its channel. HBO is preparing for the Mobile users with a cable-free version of its network, HBO Go, to be released sometime next year.
Traditional television may be going out with more a fizzle than a bang, but its future looks exciting. Advanced technologies in viewing allow for unmatched definition and is stepping into 3D perception. As well as hundreds of channels to choose from, Smart Television now gives you the option to automatically record the programs you wish to see, and view them later. There’s no time schedule for keeping up with the episodes of your program. You can relax in your living room, checking for the newest in live television, or view your favorite series later through your mobile device or computer.
The providers of tomorrow are the ones that recognize the ongoing mobility of the viewer today. Their services will include high definition television, on Demand and DVR recording, and Broadband Internet services for computers and mobile devices.