Will the Internet kill the TV Star?

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Will the Internet kill the TV Star?

According to a report by Zenith Media, Internet usage will finally surpass TV in 2019. Not too long ago, television was the clear favourite source of media for consumers, but the end of that decades-long stretch is imminent.

A new Accenture report shows a dramatic drop in the percentage of people who prefer to watch TV on a regular television set.

The Accenture 2017 Digital Consumer Survey, which involved 26,000 people in 26 countries, showed only 23 percent of viewers preferred watching programming on a television set. Among U.S. survey takers, it was marginally higher at 25 percent. In 2016, 52 percent of people worldwide and 59 percent in the U.S. said their number one choice was to watch TV on a TV set.

The shift means that traditional advertising models may be upended, as live television typically makes up the majority of TV ad inventory.

“The dominance of the TV set as the undisputed go-to entertainment device is ending,” Accenture’s global managing director for its broadcast business Gavin Mann said in a statement. “While a great number of people still watch plenty of TV shows on TV sets, our research uncovers a rapid acceleration in their preference for viewing on other digital devices — especially laptops, desktops and smartphones.”

Instead, more than four out of ten people said they would rather watch on a laptop or desktop computer, while 13 percent opted for their smartphone. The survey also found just 19 percent of survey takers used their TVs as the go-to device when watching sports games.

According to Zenith Media, for the first time, in 2019, people around the world will spend more time online than they do watching TV. People are expected to spend an average of 170.6 minutes each day on online activities like watching videos on YouTube, sharing photos on Facebook and shopping on Amazon. They’ll spend slightly less time — 170.3 minutes —watching TV.

The global transition from TV to internet as the main entertainment medium was a long time coming, but it also happened faster than expected. Only last year, Zenith predicted that TV would still be more popular in 2019 but has since revised its estimates.

Advertisers, for once, are ahead of the curve. Globally, they’re expected to spend US$60 billion more on internet than TV advertising in 2019.

The invention of various social media platforms, the availability of shows on mobile, faster internet, more advanced smartphones, and more digestible content tailored to those.

Lower-priced smartphones have accelerated internet adoption by quickly bringing the developing world online. Mobile will be responsible for all growth in internet consumption and more than a quarter of all media consumption — that includes time spent watching movies in theatres, listening to the radio and reading physical newspapers and magazines — next year.

The total time we spend on media activities is still growing as more offline activities (talking with friends in person) become online activities (chatting on social media). Altogether it’s expected to grow to 486.5 minutes per day next year, up from 479 this year.

On the other hand, in the U.S., TV is still king. Internet usage will not eclipse TV viewing there until 2020, according to Zenith.

2018 is the year that smartphone usage eclipses time spent watching TV in China, and it’s all down to the growth of digital video platforms, according to a new report from eMarketer.

According to the report, the average adult in China is set to spend two hours and 39 minutes per day on a mobile device this year, up 11.1 percent on 2017. Watching TV, meanwhile, is set to fall by two percent, to reach two hours 32 minutes daily.

The growth of digital video services is “a key driver” in this change, eMarketer said. The company forecasts that online video time per day will leap 26 percent year-on-year to reach 58 minutes per adult on average. It is further predicting that by 2020, China’s adult population will spend one-third of their time online watching videos.

Conclusion

In the short to medium term, TV broadcasting will hold its own but with a declining share of the entertainment market. Eventually, we may get, literally, (or almost) everything from the internet but it will not do away with new and classic TV. Broadcasters like the BBC, ITV and Sky will probably survive as content providers, but no longer determining when we watch. Everything will be in the power of the viewer. More importantly, video streaming generates very little revenue for broadcasters, and the content is not supported by advertisers.
Nevertheless, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has long predicted that streaming will eventually become the norm for TV viewing, and cable and traditional channels will evolve or die. He has predicted that in the next ten to twenty years, all television will be watched on the internet.

Figures for the last five years suggest Mr Hastings has a point. Daily viewing in the UK on a TV set has declined in every age group since 2012, with the steepest falls among younger groups. Among 4 to15 year olds, daily TV viewing has fallen nearly 30 points since 2012 on an index produced by researchers Enders Analysis using data from TV viewing measurement body Barb. The 16 to 34-year-old group is also watching far less, with the index of daily TV viewing plummeting from 100 to 77.

Meanwhile, subscribers to internet streaming services have rocketed in the UK. Netflix subscriber numbers rose to 6.1 million by the end of 2016 from 2.7 million in 2014. Amazon subscribers climbed to 2.5 million in 2016 from 1.5 million in 2014.

Claire Enders, chief executive of Enders Analysis, says: “The peak of UK viewing was during the 2012 Olympics across every demographic. We are looking at five years of decline since that peak.”

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Anthony Weaver
Editorial Manager
Connect-World Magazines
United Kingdom
Email: anthony.weaver@connect-world.com
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