A function of our tv that we haven’t used in a long, long time is the guide. Better yet, a function we haven’t used in probably a longer time is watching real-time television. My wife and I love to spend an hour or two at night just relaxing, catching up on our series or movies, but hardly do we just watch what is on.
We watch everything later. Even if we want to watch a series or movie that is on, we know to delay 20 minutes per hour of show to be able to skip through the commercials. I know it is a disaster for the broadcasting stations, they need the money desperately. But if everyone does what we are doing, and I know a lot of us all do, advertisers wouldn’t even care about putting their commercials on television. But, let’s be honest, we spends their hard-earned free time a day happily watching commercials being fired at them telling them to buy your loved one a $60,000 Lexus for Christmas. Yes, sure. That is my idea of a good time!
Nope. And it used to be the DVR that caused our watching behavior, but with the excellent service of Netflix and Amazon Prime, And Amazon Instant Video, even using the DVR is slowly becoming less and less. Even series like The Walking Dead, that I love, I have taken out of our record list because I know it will show up on Netflix with a year’s delay.
A year’s delay????
To be honest, I don’t care. Watching tv now has become like going to a library or to rent a video two decades ago… you would pick your pick, no matter if it is an old movie or a new one. Suddenly, with so much choice whenever you want it, taking in entertainment has become something very personal. There are still series that are too good to wait for. Homeland, Masters of Sex, Person of Interest, Justified, Ray Donovan… and some others, I want to see as early as possible. But I notice watching what you want has become so personal, that it is also exactly how you want it.
This will become more and more an issue for regular broadcasting stations, and it is something that companies like Netflix and Amazon understand so very well. Especially with their own productions and the new phenomenon of binge-watching. Producing your own series, and just release it all in one season at one time. The series that launched this was Netflix’ excellent House Of Cards with Kevin Spacey. But was soon followed by series like Orange is the New Black, Betas, House of Alphas and many more. Also HBO understood very well how to start transitioning into this area, releasing all their series and loads of movies as free on-demand with their subscription.
Netflix still has some lack with releasing the latest movies, but makes up for it for its huge library. But Amazon releases the newest releases almost immediately for rent, sometimes with a week’s delay to the Blu-Ray release. And although I always loved to buy movies, I now only get the movies I really enjoy on disc, and if I want to watch a movie that just was released, I have no problems forking over $3,99 for watching it if I cannot wait for it.
Sure, it all comes with a price tag. Netflix’s $7,99 a month, or Amazon Prime with the $79 a year. It is still just a fraction of what we pay for our Fiber connection. And it is in HD, something we don’t have to pay extra for. And I will guarantee that the time that people will turn off their tv channel package with their provider in favor of the streaming solutions, just like it is already happening a lot with people shutting off their landlines in favor of their mobile phones, will come pretty soon. Just one connection; your internet.
And why not? It is not some kind of hostile takeover in television-world. It is a natural evolution. And with evolution comes that who can adept, prosper, and who cannot will fade away. It will most likely happen that broadcasting stations that we know so well will have to change, and some will disappear, some will survive, some will grow strong.
What this all will have a huge impact on is advertisement. The world of advertising never wanted to change, and even their transition to online really is just a replication of print and on-air advertisement. Never has there really been someone who took a good look on how the digital world of advertisement would work. All, except a couple. But even those will come. But there too, the world has to change. Advertising income drop. And people and businesses who are advertising now don’t really understand anymore who their audiences are. Everyone wants to reach everyone, instead of really pinpointing your target audience. I remember, about 14-15 year ago, AXE released a very simple animation called the Feather Girl. It was extremely small, simple; a cute girl in a nighty on a bed, and you have a feather and can tickle her. That’s all. No naughtiness, but very cute. It really doesn’t do anything, but especially at the time that Flash animations became very popular, it was a smart move: because it was especially the IT ‘nerds’ that knew about this. Which of course, is a huge target for AXE who always advertised that any man can get unlimited attention of women by wearing AXE. Of course, everyone knows that that is a lie, but it is a fun one, that guys love to believe, especially if you don’t get so much attention (and being locked up to your computer, well, that is a form of reality, believe me, I have been there ).
Taking in entertainment, just like the transformation on Radio to Satellite and services like Pandora, Spotify, XBOX Music and others, is changing. And the way people deal with it is changing. And in my opinion, it will be something very interesting.