Monday, April 27, 2015

Television Is Not Dead

Technological change has created disruption across a vast array of industries.  And while some companies are born and others die on the vine as they refuse to adapt to change has been a hallmark of business over the years.  But the real truth is that as industries change, room still exists for the past to stay relevant, although not at dominant levels.

In the world of the media platform, we are watching as digital has surpassed both analog and physical media.  Print publications still can bring value even as digital subscriptions grow.  CDs and DVDs are still being sold, vinyl albums too, as streaming music and video continue to advance. Radio did not die when television came along and television and cable will continue to exist even as OTT platforms drive adoption.  This weeks's Adweek does a nice job telling us that linear networks will continue to survive and that Content is King!    Even through this constant change, according to the article, "Consumers want access to great content. Brands want to deeply engage with their consumers. And television will no doubt evolve to survive." 

Linear television will survive because of live events.  Consumers will turn on the TV because they want to simply watch in a lean back environment, letting one program follow the other.  Sometimes, we want our TV to be our background noise.  How linear is transmitted though will continue to change as cable companies shift to IP enabled technologies.  At the same time, we will become more proactive when we want to watch a show, as well as when, where, and how.  Mobile and social will become more important tentpoles of our viewing experience. 

And content creators now have more choices to sell their shows and movies, from traditional broadcast and cable networks to premium services like HBO and Showtime, and OTT platforms like Netflix or Amazon or Hulu.  The rise in original content being shown at this years NewFronts make the traditional upfronts vulnerable.  But that is nothing new.  A decade or so ago, cable networks were the ones challenging broadcast.  Traditional media didn't die then and it still has much life ahead of it.  The industry continues to change and the successful companies are the ones that can adapt and change with it. 

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