According to the latest information shared by ComScore, consumer consumption of media content is fragmenting across digital platforms at an accelerating rate.
For example, originally-scripted TV content can now be viewed on the Internet using a PC or Mac — and increasingly via mobile and portable devices; TV ads are being delivered online; and sports programming is being viewed live on smartphones. What does this mean? Will the Internet and mobile technologies kill traditional television media?
The shift from tradition to digital broadcast media – thanks to mobile devices and the new programming that supports it – has changed the landscape of news and entertainment media. From programming to advertising, the entire industry is being turned on its head the way the newspaper and magazine industry was when social media and blogs began to capture market share.
Proponents of traditional broadcast media argue that the new screens bursting on to the market are additive and that this is not a zero-sum game. However, Netflix is now producing and streaming direct-to-Web programming with increased success, including a series of Emmy award nominations for one of its shows: House of Cards.
As many as 20% of Netflix’s membership have reported cancelling their cable television service because of their preference for viewing programming online, which is not a good sign for the future of the television industry. Further, user-generated content across social media, and in particular video streaming sites like YouTube, are quickly capturing “share of eyeballs” in today’s media landscape.
What’s left for the fixed television set collecting dust in your living rooms or the networks that produce programming for them? Will television as we know it simply die off?
Social media sites such as Twitter and CNN’s iReport are often first-to-market with breaking news stories and the first channel that we turn to when seeking information about trending stories. What does this say about the future of broadcast news programs? Will they exist in 10 years? Will they still be reliant on television sets and networks to exist?
comScore recently conducted a seminal study for NBC that measured how consumers viewed programming during the 2012 London Olympics. One of the observations reported in the study was the concurrent use of digital screens while watching television.
Specifically, 25% of the time spent watching the Olympics on television was accompanied by the use of another screen. Because of this statistic, the report suggests that television is still king and analysts have used the information to opine that there’s no evidence that incremental screens cannibalize the use of traditional screens (TVs).
I’m not convinced. Does the fact that 25% of the viewers watching the London Olympic were also engaged in related social media conversations or watching the program on their mobile devices mean that digital and mobile channels will always be supporting players?
Or does it represent a transition period while Internet-based companies like Hulu, YouTube, and Netflix develop further?
Sensei Debates: Many predicted the eventual demise of the newspaper industry due to the popularity of social media; but few included broadcast television in the traditional media doomsday scenario. Will television as we know it be killed off thanks to Internet technologies, mobile devices, and direct-to-Web programming?
Will the addition of these new screens and media formats replace the traditional channels or do additional screens simply mean more time watching media?
This topic was the subject of the 108th #bizforum weekly Twitter debate, which was hosted on Google+. Below is the video of this week’s debate.
Feed Your Community, Not Your Ego
Image Credit, James Nash via Creative Commons