It may not be a revelation to suggest that the rise of digital has had a significant impact on the way us as individuals live and how societies at large operate. With digital, the possibility of instantaneous results is made extremely feasible. For example, it takes ages to generate 50 new leads using traditional forms of marketing such as newspaper or print, however with the choice to now market digitally, the existence of likes, shares and tweets can generate those leads for you in no time. Digital mediums can constantly and instantly adapt and evolve to rapidly discover what works and what doesn’t. This in turn produces an extremely exciting, faced paced environment, putting the power back into the hands of those with the products and services, and thus essentially leveling the playing field of business.
Television is no exception to the above rule, with internet TV slowly encroaching on the way we watch, impacting on our entertainment habits and eventually transcending traditional forms of TV production. Interest in web streaming services such as Netflix have skyrocketed over recent years where in 2008 audiences were left stunned when 6000 films and TV shows were just one click away. Since Internet TV’s debut it has significantly expanded and now boasts a myriad of content licenses, with Netflix boasting 86% serge in profits in 2011 fuelled by a 69% increase in user subscriptions.
To me the advantages of watching television on the Internet compared to cable, sky or even media services based around local storage such as TiVo are as clear as an HDTV. First of all it is far more economical. Avoiding subscribing to an entire bundle package of shows you don’t care for can save a huge amount of doe in the long run. It avoids all those infuriating issues with television hardware. Never again will your favorite show not record properly, never again will you have to rely on that stupid IR blaster to change channels for you. One of the most exciting benefits of Internet TV is that your unique content literally travels around with you, instantly available wherever you are. Ignite a love for a show you didn’t know existed; relive your adolescence watching shows you once adored, with fewer adverts! Need I go on?
Internet TV has already produced some dramatic shifts, this much is clear, however the scariest thing is that it’s still only in it’s premature stages of growth. Internet streaming currently only reflects intrigue and sentiment rather then buying power. However as time progresses online audiences will start to undermine the bargaining power of traditional TV companies, which in turn will enhance the demand for online television content. Additionally content delivered via the web will soon offer huge incentives such as greater advertising revenues, significantly better audience targeting methods and improved advertisement interaction, which will surely prove irresistible to those making the content. When this day comes it will poignantly mark the end of TV-as-we-know-it and will pave the way to that exciting couch potato existence. Here improved broadband infrastructure will enable us to watch what we want when we want from an ever-expanding library of content from the nearest digital channel that you can be bothered to get up for.
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