Viewers have a greater range of routes to access television content than ever before, with on-demand, video highlights and online platforms threatening the existence of television as we know it. Over the next decade, online disruption is predicted to have the same impact on traditional television broadcasters as it has had on the music and news industry in the last 10 years. In fact, a new report suggests broadcasters such as the BBC, ITV and Sky could stand to lose a combined £1bn per year to rival services from Amazon, Facebook and YouTube.
Too much choice can lead to confusion
There is currently an increasingly confusing and complex range of routes to access the TV content viewers love to watch. A recent survey found that more than 20 percent of under-35s use more than seven different services to tune into their favourite TV shows, while 40 percent admitted to being ‘confused’ by the number of options open to them.
Industry experts believe this level of confusion is giving rise to the need for a ‘super-aggregator’ service, where one or two platforms provide a universal access point to all the content available. That’s much like the way platforms such as Rightmove and Moneysupermarket moved into the property and insurance market respectively to bring all the potential options together. The trouble is that in doing so, they also take a significant share of the revenues.
Cutting the cord
Not so long ago, watching shows online rather than through your TV aerial or Sky box was a novelty, but more and more viewers are deciding to cut the cord and rid themselves of monthly subscriptions. Cord cutting means ditching the traditional satellite, cable and Freeview packages and instead watching television over the web.
Netflix is probably the leading example of cord cutting in practice, allowing viewers to watch television content on demand, wirelessly and on any device. There’s also a small monthly fee rather having to pay for a package that includes a large number of channels they do not want to watch.
How are the traditional broadcasters trying to compete?
Television broadcasters like Sky, Virgin and BT have recognised the way the industry is going and are now diversifying their offering to meet the needs of the cord cutters. Sky and Virgin both give viewers more flexibility to pick and choose their channels and offer web-based services.
All the terrestrial broadcasters also offer catch-up portals and apps so viewers can watch their favourite shows as and when they like, while every broadcaster apart from Channel 5 lets viewers stream broadcasts live over the web without the need for a TV aerial. However, as the BBC is always quick to remind you, you do still need a TV licence to watch live TV on the BBC.
Moving to something more appealing
The entertainment revolution is well underway. If you’re thinking about cutting the cord and reducing the costs of your viewing, the best strategy is to think about what you want to watch and when you want to watch it (live or later), before picking a device and app selection that matches your needs. The result is a more flexible, convenient and cost-effective way to watch the programs you love. And at Digital Dimensions, we offer all the TV services and installations you’ll need.