A new study was recently released showing that the majority of people from the latest generation (referred to as Millienials), ranging in ages 14-24, prefer watching television programming over non-traditional platforms such as computers and tablets than standard television sets
I really have to wonder if this is much of a surprise considering the heavy push that the networks, cable providers, and etc have been directing viewers to check out content over the non-traditional platforms. More so than that, the question will more than likely be why? A traditional tv is, typically far larger and able to show much more detail than a, say, tablet viewing experience of a show. Or even more so, a mobile phone! And let’s not forget the streaming issues. Anyone who has watched video content over a computer, tablet, or phone, has definitely experienced the video freezing up, getting pixelated, stopping, or even worse, not even playing at all, due to connection issues. Then of course there is that issue with pixelation that can either be attributed to the connection, or the encoder. If it is the latter, then the quality of a connection doesn’t matter. So the question is why would more choose those non-traditional platforms over the more reliable/consistent one? Well, there is an answer to that. I can say that, personally, I am one of those people who choose the non-traditional platforms these days over the traditional. For starters, in my bedroom- without getting too personal- I have no television set. Didn’t want one. As much as I love video, movies, etc, I had no interest in having a tv in my room because in previous years, I rarely used them. If I watched television, it was in the front room. When I left the front room, it meant I was ready to sleep- not watch more television. Now I’m not saying I have an issue with having one in my room, its just for me, I don’t see the reason. Which then takes me to answering the question, well, if you do a lot of work in your room (which I do), and you want to watch a show, or the news, then how do you get to see it if your set up is somewhere else in your home. Very easy…so on the same device that I can do my work on, I can also open up a stream (thanks to my cable provider) in a window in the corner of it- or if I have two screens- in the second screen), where the tv stream is being viewed. If I want to watch a DVD- well, my computer has a DVD player, so I can have it do that as well. Did I mention my main computer is lap top? So what does this all come down to? It means instead of having, in my room, a tv, dvd player, cable cords, computer set up, with screens, etc- I just have one device that does it all. And if you want to go further- use a tablet- which I have as well. Just flip it up, tune in the tv program I want to see, let it play while I do whatever else. When it’s done- close it and stuff it back on the book shelf. The point- less messy and more convenience. The amount of work it takes to log in to watch a tv show on either one of those non-traditional devices is no less (in some cases) or about the same as I would with a multi-layered set up. Do I sacrifice some quality as a result- yes- but for me, if I’m watching the programming, i’m watching for the content more so than the quality of the stream. And speaking of streams, they are improving- the stability included. In the next 10 years, there will probably be very little difference between streaming service quality and traditional television quality.
There is one other component in this that I did not mention, and it is the art of multitasking. While, in a way, i did reference it above- ie- working while watching tv- the millenial generation and the one before it has been groomed to multitask, especially when it comes television viewing. So with that in mind- on a traditional tv set, you can’t watch television and on the same screen jump over to twitter or facebook to talk about it or something else with friends. You have to go to a separate device, possibly looking away and missing something key. The XBox One is a prime example of this new way of thinking. It intentionally was created with separate processors so people could play video games on the system while streaming, talking to people, posting on social, etc at the same time on the same screen. Can a traditional television do that? Not at all.
To say the least, it is the future, and it is why we are getting this new concept of “Smart” TV’s that have internet connections and are steadily integrating multitasking-type capabilities like just mentioned. In cases like that, it will be of benefit to a viewer who wants to multitask because there’s more screen size- but they can’t take it anywhere they go. Either way, the keys are simplicity, multitask capabilities, and interaction at this stage. The traditional television landscape has ultimately changed and has no choice but to evolve or get left behind to the streaming based multiplatform networks on the rise such as the Netflix and Amazon Prime’s of the world.
The Overall Meal
Do you think this trend will continue or will people go back to the established habits of tv watching as they get older?
Please place your response below. Let the convos begin!