Are We Overwhelming The TV Viewer


People in the UK have recently claimed in a survey there was too much choice and they are overwhelmed. The ordinary person in the street has trouble fitting a plug or changing a light-bulb and we completely over estimate the intelligence of the ‘average joe’ (as they are called in the USA) with respect to Television mechanics. Clearly we have a new generation, we advance, we learn…but do we offer anything other than the swamping of the masses with TV Everywhere? Youngsters who consume “more” today mostly on their laptops will develop different viewing habits to us oldies (like try to avoid paying like they do for music) that is sure but they eventually turn into ‘hard-working’ adults where viewing takes place from 8pm to midnight and on weekends only! – They will have families to visit, friends, play sports, go out, go on holiday, get married, have children and their lives will fill up. They will regress to tired TV watching like we all do in the main.

The very exercise that you all talk of (cord cutting, TV everywhere, Search for what you want etc). I have asked ordinary folk (i.e. non TV execs) to do – they give up searching after 15 minutes, they get tired, bored and fed-up very quickly or frustrated and then go to look for now and next (linear TV) and they are not content after a long day in the office to sit down and search for what they want when they want where they want. That is the premise nay the mantra that we live by in the TV industry today but it is far from the truth or reality. The majority of Cable in Europe is still heavily analogue. Satellite cannot go OTT readily. Even AppleTV functions well but requires effort to find something even if it is simple to use, it requires conscious effort. The PVR gives huge additional viewing. OTT costs money in time, equipment and will eventually in subscription fees all round. We are a long way from the final landscape of TV it is becoming very much overwhelming what we can do with the same set of TV programmes that are in the main repeats (back-catalogue). Linear TV still makes it easy for the viewer, taking the strain out of selecting something to clear the mind, entertain after a long day in the office or playing with the kids in the park. We are even overwhelmed by the amount of news there is about new TV technologies…I wish to be here in 50 years to see what it turns into…I wont!

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