Remember the time when families sat around the TV set after dinner to watch a favorite show after a long day? It seems those times are fast diminishing. With the diversity of entertainment programs available on the internet these days, and the convenience that comes with watching whatever you want whenever you want, traditional television is increasingly decreasing in viewership, and this is a global trend. The past couple of years have witnessed increasing cancellation of the subscription to traditional TV. In Canada, for instance, CBS reports that 16% of cable subscriptions were cut in 2015 while the trend is on an increase, while 42% of Americans are planning to cancel their cable subscription in 2020, according to a study by Unruly.
Does this mean that people are watching TV less? This writer thinks not. Rather, it just means that they have alternate sources of getting their entertainment needs to be met through several streamable services offered on the internet. The reason behind people’s choices are simple: streamable services such as Peers TV might be cheaper than cable TV and are more easily accessible. The streamable services also have a particular niche – your favorite shows can be conveniently watched at any time. What’s more, streamable services are considered to be more reliable as they are strictly driven by subscription and require constant up-time for profitability. These services are also more dedicated to entertainment, so the subscribers know exactly what they are in for.
For a lot of people that have access to the internet (which is mostly youths and young adults), streamable services are preferred, as they can binge-watch the series they desire. This has highly affected the TV industry whose selling points these days include news stories and sports coverage. The only other category of people that might still be watching TV religiously are children and the elderly, as you hardly see children-friendly cartoons on these streamable services.
And how can we forget the extra features that most of these streamable services offer? From Plot titles to subtitles, recommendations to cross-platform functionality, streamable services seem to be designed with only a purpose in mind – to keep the viewers glued to their seats for as long as possible. There are also some streamable services such as Philo Reviews and others that are beginning to offer specialty programs e.g. lifestyle channels.
In truth, the TV is not going to become obsolete, just like radio has not gone out of service despite all the options available like podcasts, online radio stations, etc. And just like the cinemas have experienced cycles of going in and out of trend in different societies of the world, the television might persist beyond our immediate projections. The most important thing is that both online or traditional TV have the purposes they serve and the demography that prefers each platform. The older generation might continue to wonder why the youths are always glued to their mobile phones and devices, while the youths wonder at the elderly’s need to get home to watch their favorite programs. But ultimately, traditional TV and streamable services might have to co-exist in time.