Is Broadcast TV in Trouble?
Changes In How We Watch
When was the last time you made a point to sit down at a certain time on a given day and watch a TV show? Perhaps within the past week if you make a point to catch a favourite programme when it first airs. For many of us, however, the answer is harder to give. With streaming services and smart TVs, many industry professionals and everyday TV fans are left with the same question: is broadcast TV dying?
The general consensus seems to be yes, that broadcast TV is not long for this world. After all, why wait an entire week to find out the next plot twist or shake-up when you can stream an entire season in an afternoon or two? Why be tied to the TV schedule when you can make your own?
Like The Car Replacing The Horse
If you ask Reed Hastings, the CEO of Netflix, broadcast TV is on its way out and will be all but dead by 2030. It’s not that TV is a bad way of delivering entertainment to the masses, but it’s just outdated. Hastings is often quoted as saying, by way of comparison, that “the horse was good until we had the car.”
With the cost of streaming services so incredibly affordable — Netflix streaming is less than £7 per month, and Amazon Instant Video is slightly less — cable and satellite companies have been watching their longtime subscribers cut the cord and say goodbye to broadcast.
Additionally, with a streaming subscription, you can watch as much as you want. There are no extra channels to pay for and no time limits. And, of course, there’s no schedule: you watch what you want, when you want.
Other Advantages Of Streaming
Broadcast TV is at a significant disadvantage in other ways. With broadcast TV, there are commercials to sit through; with streaming, commercials are either shorter and less frequent or nonexistent. You can also binge watch every episode in one sitting with streaming services, whereas with broadcast TV, you’d have to watch a little at a time each week for an entire season. True, you may not see programmes when they first air, but if you’re willing to wait until they’re available on streaming services, you’re rewarded with the whole story at once.
Finally, streaming services offer incredible portability. You can watch Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and others on your phone, iPad, PC, and smart TV. While some cable and satellite providers have come out with limited portability subscriptions, they can’t match the convenience and ease that streaming services offer.