Television and cinema stopped grabbing the attention of entertainment-hungry audiences when YouTube appeared in 2005. And as streaming platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and HBO Go emerged, accessible from devices notebooks, competition has been exacerbated. The television and its open signal programming (and even cable signal) are starting to become accessories in some homes.
Consumption habits become more and more personalized. And except in the case of sports events, the idea of massive audiences, glued to the screen of the same channel, and at the same time, is more linked to the past than to the present. If you have not noticed the changes, the following report sheds some light on it.
At the end of the twentieth century, in his book ‘Being Digital’, Nicholas Negroponte predicted the extinction of large video rental chains. The bankruptcy of this business was caused by the emergence of new models to distribute content: video streaming services, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Fox Play, or HBO. Go.
These digital platforms add more users every day and have established a new pattern of consumption for series and movies; a faster, accessible, and dynamic one. The well-remembered VHS videocassettes, whose thickness resembled that of a 300-page book, are now museum pieces. Now everything is on the net. Audiovisual fiction no longer depends on physical support, it is immaterial.
Simply pay a monthly fee to purchase an account for a streaming service (a digital media content distribution system). Netflix is the most popular service at the moment; It has more than 93 million subscribers in 190 countries. The rates to obtain a streaming service are affordable. And the content they offer, complete documentary series and feature films, is so varied that it can satisfy both adults and adolescents and children.
Not only that. On the other hand, the support to access the consumption of entertainment is no longer just a static device (the huge flat-screen TV, hanging in a television room), but a portable device (laptop, tablet, cell phone).
This allows content watching while going from the living room to the kitchen, from the bedroom to the bathroom, from the office to the public transportation. Also, people are increasingly investing in home cinemas to enjoy completely in Netflix experience. It’s a bit more complicated process and you usually have to call in experts who offer this service, like AerialExpress, but it’s a long-term worthwhile investment.
Netflix already knows what you want
When a user enters the home screen of their Facebook, they appear publications of friends, news, and products that, according to social media, may interest them. Upon entering Amazon, emails arrive in announcing the latest products that, perhaps, you can buy.
And on Netflix, the company uses personalization of the content offer: it recommends and sends alerts about series and movies that the viewer may like, based on the programs that they have already seen.
Does Netflix consumption become personal?
For decades, families have come together to watch some TV series together at a specific time. Because only then was it available and almost every country in the world had the most popular show that everyone watched. Today is different.
Everyone can see sitcoms like The Bing Bang Theory or movies like Titanic on their own: lying in bed while having lunch in the dining room in front of a laptop or even while they are showering if they take any tablet to the bathroom. If the custom was to watch movies or series after lunch, today many do it at dawn or in the morning.
At the beginning of the new millennium, you had to rent a lot of VHS tapes or DVDs to watch all the seasons of a TV series. Back then, the most popular were The Sopranos, The Wire, Friends, etc. The HBOs classics had a complicated plot and it was best to watch each episode separately. They are not made for binge-watching.
But the concentration that people have for watching content and the time available they have started to change more and more. Shorter episodes have become increasingly popular. Also now Netflix has started releasing the entire season all at once. No more waiting for an episode to air once a week. In this way, they allow you to watch at your own pace when it suits you.
Growth allows betting on more
During the first quarter of the year, the company has exceeded its growth goals, both in a number of global and local subscribers (United States). The figures provide peace of mind. Investors are aiming for an increase in the number of people who pay each month for a subscription to content. This will bring an even better program and greater separation from the competition.
Will it be the end of television as we know it?
Every time a new medium appears, some apocalyptic say that the death of the previous one is coming. When television was born, it was said that cinema would die out. It was believed that it would no longer be necessary to pay a ticket for a movie since they could watch it inside their home on television.
But what varies is consumption. It’s one thing to watch something at home with your parents and siblings, like a newscast or a family show, another to go to the movies, and quite another to watch Netflix.
Those that will be affected are cable television companies. Furthermore, it predicts that they will soon cease to exist as we know them now. They know that a considerable sector of the audience looking for entertainment prefers streaming services and the wide catalog they offer, so they have started to create similar platforms. Such is the case of HBO or Fox.
It is quite clear that the emergence of streaming services is a clear and obvious threat to television as we have known it for over half a century. Changes are already happening. More and more people are terminating contracts with cable operators and instead of paying for streaming services at an incomparably cheaper price. Also, sports are no longer a certain source of viewers for classic television.
All the most famous sports in the world make their own streaming services, where all the live content and on-demand are available. For all these reasons, the TV will have to make significant changes and improvements if it wants to remain competitive.