Monday, August 15, 2011

RapidGroove ReRun: TV Without The TV

During my summer vacation I'm running a few re-runs in my blog.  
This one was originally published on May 20th 2011

Watching TV Without The TV:
When Does One-Way, Big Appliance TV Go Extinct

Some people are wondering whether TV sales are now at a tipping point, stalled in growth and maybe even on a decline that is likely to continue.  Is this the beginning of the end of television as we know it?  Is television, like the landline home phone, a dedicated appliance that increasingly seems out of step with the way we live?

The theory is that younger people are spending more of their “screen” time on the Internet on their laptops, iPads, and smartphones.  Some of that time is spent doing non-TV things like playing Angry Birds, web surfing, using Skype and FaceTime, and of course listening to music.  But some of that time is spent watching TV or similar content. 

Similar content? What are people watching on computers and mobile devices?  What do they want to watch?  What’s the mix of traditional 30-60 minute programming versus short clips popular on YouTube and similar video services?  And what about content that splits the difference, sometimes called “webisodes?”  One example is the Internet series The Guild that pokes fun at online gamers in a 5-minute sitcom format, but which is distributed on the web.  Similar in length and access, hip informational video podcasts like and inspiring talks from the TED conferences are drawing an audience.

Are people moving away from the lean-back 30-60 minute content of their father's generation and moving towards the lean-forward YouTube and webisode content?  Do enough people want 30-minute sitcoms on their computer to make it a worthwhile business?  Hulu thinks they might.  Does anyone want The Guild on their 50” television? Roku and Boxee are betting they do.

So today’s question is how is TV changing for you and the people around you?  Are you part of the “dropped my landline phone, never buying a TV again” set?  Were you never a television watcher?  Are you an avid TV watcher waiting to buy an 80” 4D Hyper HDTV when they drop below $10,000?

Tell us about your “view” of the changing television landscape.  Please post your comments here.


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