It’s Not Dead: TV Has Just Moved On to Other Platforms—and Production Venues

Thanks to the rise of over-the-top (OTT) content, many industry pundits have speculated as to whether the majority of television consumers will decide to become cord-cutters—those viewers who stop paying for traditional cable services, preferring instead to consume content that’s delivered over the Internet from providers like Netflix.

But studies have shown that while some people have indeed become cord-cutters, the forecast is that more consumers are likely to complement their TV-viewing experience with OTT content, rather than try to replace it.

As technology evolves and customers are able to consume content on a variety of devices thanks to OTT providers and the TV Everywhere movement, some are wondering whether television as we know it is “dying.”

Speaking during a panel discussion recently held at ClickZ Live San Francisco, Hilary Perchard, vice president of business development at Sky, a British broadcasting company, countered that notion, explaining that we’re seeing a transformation of television—not it’s death.

“Everyone talks about the death of television,” Perchard said. “Television is not dead,” she re-emphasized, adding, however, that “new devices are giving people more flexibility to watch things where they want to watch them.”

Consuming Content Through Evolving Platforms

When television was first invented, customers watched 100 percent of the content they consumed on their TV. Over time, more technologies were created: Laserdisc and VHS; DVD and Blu-ray; Roku and Xbox. As a result, we watch less television programming on television today than we did in the 1950s. According to Rajeev Raman, CEO of 1 Mainstream, a cloud-based digital distribution platform, only 57 percent of content is consumed on traditional televisions these days.

As technology continues to improve, one can’t help but wonder just how seamless our viewing experience will become. It’s not that hard to imagine a future where you can watch a television program across multiple devices without skipping a beat.

Maybe you’re watching a baseball game, for example, and have to leave the house. Why shouldn’t you be able to watch that same game on your smartphone while you drive to where you need to be? (This, of course, assumes that Internet improves to the point where we are constantly connected at high speeds.)

A Paradigm Shift in Content Production, Too

In addition to the evolving platforms we’re seeing, it’s also interesting to observe a change in who is actually supplying the content as well. While Netflix doesn’t currently “live on cable”—at least not yet, anyway—the company is investing heavily in becoming a legit, bona fide program developer.

In a recent letter to its shareholders, Netflix boasted about its 31 Emmy nominations while also providing an updated list of original content its viewers could expect in the coming months. In addition to hits like “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black,” the company is working on a variety of other projects, including an original series based on Marvel comics, an adventure series titled “Marco Polo” and even a talk show hosted by Chelsea Handler.

“Reflecting the increasingly global nature of the Netflix service, we now have original series in production around the world, involving some of the best storytellers working in television and film today,” Netflix’s letter reads.

Though our viewing experience is certainly subject to change at any given moment, and the producers of the shows and series we enjoy might change as well, the fact remains that the need for high-quality content is more pronounced than ever, and as such, we can expect to see even more players enter the production arena.