Another Look at the Future of Television


Television (Photo credit: paul.kenjerski)

There is a report published by EY (formerly known as Ernst and Young) that identifies six trends it sees that will change the future of television.

Better Use of Omniplatform Environment. In the 50’s the early days of television adapted existing radio shows since they didn’t really understand the changes made possible by the new TV medium. Today we are at a similar cusp in the way that people get their entertainment. A large percentage of TV viewers also use a laptop, tablet or smartphone while watching TV. The smart programmers are going to find ways to take advantage of the way viewers want to see content.

So EY is predicting that some programmers will adopt a new kind of programming that crosses multiple screens simultaneously. Such shows will cater to and expect viewers to be watching with multiple screens to get the full story. They also think programmers will use this medium to involve viewers in defining the story line.

Greater Demand for Mobility. If you have been following the tech news you see that there are new technologies involving transparent and flexible screens that are going to make it possible to show video content almost anywhere. As screens get cheaper and more abundant viewers are going to demand a far greater degree of mobility than they have today.

And mobility will mean more than just having the ability to watch a TV show on a pad. It means the ability to have content follow the viewer on the move. It’s already possible for a techie to have viewing follow them from room to room in the house. But the ultimate mobility is going to happen when somebody watching a football game is going to be able to follow the content from living room to vehicle to the grocery store.

There Will Remain a Social Context to Viewing. People like watching television with other people and social viewing increases for major events like the Super Bowl or the Academy Awards. People are going to continue to want a social context to viewing and EY predicts that programmers will find ways to take advantage of this. They think some of the most popular future content will be that which draws people into it for social reasons instead of just for the content.

Content Will Become Personalized. Surveys show that almost nobody likes the effort that is required to find the programming they want using a settop box. EY predicts that smart software will be developed that will help people quickly find the programming they want. Further, this software will learn the viewer and will suggest programming to each person that is similar to what they most like to watch.

There are already early versions of this concept in play, but the real breakthrough will come when the content suggested is spot on to the viewer rather than just something from a similar category to things they recently watched.

Binge Viewing is Here to Stay. As somebody who is in a household of binge viewers, I agree with this observation. In our house we each tend to watch entire TV series end to end rather than view a number of different shows. We are already addicted to Amazon Prime for letting us watch the way that pleases us. I personally have been doing this for decades and am glad to now be freed from the expensive need to buy boxed DVD sets of my favorite shows.

New Content Providers Can Succeed. The bundled content packages offered by cable companies is under siege. People have so many options to watch what they want that more and more people are leaning away from bundled cable packages. There are new content entrants all of the time such as the new programming being developed by Netflix and Amazon Prime. This means there will be opportunities for new content providers to succeed with having to have access through the existing network structure.

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