Friday, September 11, 2015

Is The Future of Television Internet Centric?

About the author:
Neal Bricker has a passion writing about technology with a lot of contributions on a large number of blogs.

The digital age has been rapidly transforming industries, including radio and television as drastic changes have occurred in each. The trends all point toward the Internet being the future of radio, as the big corporations that own most big-name radio stations have seen their stocks plummet, in some cases to penny-stock status. While some of the these companies such as iHeart are scrambling to avoid disaster, it remains to be seen if they can ever recover. Does the same fate await network television? 

There was a time as noted in a Wall Street Journal blog, that television meant having a TV set, and all of the programs we watched were on those sets, and were broadcast by the television networks. Things changed as cable and satellite television made hundreds of channels available with a wide variety of programming available. Now there are even options for satellite TV + Internet packages

Now you don't even need a TV to watch some of your favorite shows. With internet services such as Netflix and Hulu, you can watch many of your favorite shows, even going back a few years if you need to catch up on some episodes, and you can watch this content when you wish, on demand. You can even watch many movies, videos, and more on Youtube for free of charge. 

With fees as low as $8 a month for almost unlimited program viewing, these services are growing, and are not going away anytime soon. Does this mean the end for the television networks? Not necessarily, and not anytime soon. No one could have predicted the way the Internet would evolve 20 years ago, but those who follow the industry closely have some good opinions on the matter. 

To avoid the fate of the big radio companies, television networks and other entities must have a strong focus on the customer experience. With more and more choices for the customer, brand loyalties are going out the window as the consumer looks for the best possible deal from an increasingly crowded field of those offering them. 

The illustration above shows one way in which those offering television services can organize their fare to better satisfy the viewers. Many companies are already on-board with these changes, offering powerful search engines, but there is still much room for improvement. 

Those in the know actually see a new Golden Age of Television with the help of the Internet. With the growing number of choices and the growing intellectual currency of the medium, as many sitcoms and traditional favorites have become almost obsolete, and many shows are now more like books, complete with clues, subtexts, and a text narrative. 

The TV networks still have plenty of clout, and so do many of the cable stations, so it is hard to foresee any kind of cash crunch such as the radio is going through. It still takes millions and millions of dollars to produce those shows that everyone seems to love like The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, and Game of Thrones. 

It's hard to see Hulu, Netflix, or anyone else stepping up to the plate and doing what the TV networks and powerful cable channels do anytime soon. But it is impossible to look at the future of television without acknowledging that the Internet will play a large part in it.

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