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Is traditional TV dying?

Matt N

Is traditional TV dying?  

6 members have voted

  1. 1. Is traditional TV dying?

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Hi guys. Television has been a huge part of society for many, many decades now; it's been around for far longer than I have, and many aspects of popular culture as we know it revolve around and/or were started by TV. A TV is viewed by many as an essential within the home these days, and at a guess, I'd say that the vast majority of people in the developed world at very least own a television.
However, I've noticed a vast change in people's TV viewing habits within the last few years. The more traditional scheduled approach to TV watching seems to be decreasing in popularity, with streaming services like Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime amongst others increasing in popularity, and almost becoming the norm nowadays. So my question to you today is; is traditional TV dying? In 20 years' time, will we still be watching TV channels and looking at TV schedules to see "what's on"? Or will that become a relic of the past within a few years, with the new on-demand approach having taken over completely? And more generally, what are your thoughts on on-demand TV and its rise in popularity?
Personally, my answer is yes; I do feel that traditional TV is dying, and I do feel that on-demand could have rendered it obsolete before too long. Within the last few years, I've noticed quite a drastic and abrupt change in how both my family and people I know more widely view TV. When I was a young child, the TV world revolved around terrestrial TV, and even when I was in my early teens, it seemed like everyone watched terrestrial television, and while on-demand streaming services existed, it seemed like they were something that very few people had access to or used. From my perspective, the likes of Netflix didn't properly blow up until I was getting on for my mid teens (I was maybe 13 or 14, at a guess? For reference, I was born in 2003.), but a few years ago, it felt like TV viewing habits shifted rapidly and drastically towards on-demand services, and that shift has only gotten more drastic since. While most people I know watched terrestrial TV a fair amount a few years ago, their viewing of terrestrial TV has decreased substantially in recent years in favour of streaming services, particularly in the case of younger demographics.
While we as a family watched a fair amount of terrestrial TV when I was a child, we watch very little nowadays; almost everything I watch with my parents now is on Netflix. And although I'm not a huge TV viewer in general, practically everything I do watch is on demand nowadays. I know that plenty of people do still watch terrestrial television (older demographics in particular still seem quite reliant on traditional TV), but the amount does seem to be rapidly decreasing, particularly among younger demographics; this may just be who I know, but I know very few people below the age of 40 or 50 who still regularly watch terrestrial TV (or at least, watch more terrestrial TV than streamed TV). More and more things seem to be moving towards streaming services; while they mostly used to have old films and TV shows on them, the popularity and prevalence of "Original" series has increased exponentially in recent years, and things like reality TV shows and even live sport, which would traditionally be more suited to terrestrial TV, are moving towards primarily being on streaming services. Even traditional TV channels and services are moving towards an on-demand model; for instance, Sky has introduced on-demand services, and BBC3 recently moved to primarily become an on-demand streaming service.
A good case study of this shift for me is the topical TV of the current period; Christmas TV. I felt that TV was quite a topical subject to bring up right now what with it being Christmas time; Christmas TV & film has become a surprisingly large part of the festive period. My dad was telling me yesterday that when he was young, the Christmas period seemed to revolve around the TV schedule and what Christmas TV was on and when, and even when I was a younger child, I seem to remember the Christmas schedule and what programmes and specials were on over Christmas being a big thing. However, within the last few years... the discussion has shifted from "what's on TV this Christmas?" to "what's being put on Netflix this Christmas?" or "What's good to watch on Netflix this Christmas?". It's really interesting to see, and the Christmas TV schedule doesn't seem anywhere near as relevant as it used to be, from my perspective.
Perhaps controversially, I'm personally quite happy with things moving towards on-demand. I think streaming services are a brilliant invention, and ensure maximum flexibility for TV watchers. Gone are the days where families would fight about what to watch on TV, or the days where your TV watching habits would be solely determined by the whims and timings of a schedule. I'd argue that on-demand satisfies everyone; each TV watcher can watch whatever they want at whatever time they want to (within reason), and I think that's absolutely superb, personally!
But what are your thoughts? Do you think that terrestrial TV is dying, and are you happy about the rise of on-demand services?
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Yes I definitely think it is.


Since moving out of my parents' house around 10 years ago I haven't had a TV licence at all, and I don't think I've watched any live TV since.


The idea of scheduling my evening around a TV show coming on to the telly at a certain time is a mad thought to me. We've all become so used to everything being on demand!


For me the only thing I miss about traditional TV is watching the F1 live. Other than that, I'm not all that bothered.

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