How streaming is killing linear/broadcast TV

How streaming is killing linear/broadcast TV

Linear broadcasting (radio, TV, etc) grew up in an era when broadcasting was only possible in one direction. There were no on-demand materials stored and there was no network capable of even delivering anything like that.

But the technology changed and the delivery mechanisms need to catch up or else be displaced by disruptive startups.

Netflix started out in an era of video rentals and that business model was becoming seriously threatened so it added an option for on-demand streaming of the same movies it had for rental, and the rest was history. Now they are displacing actual broadcasters who have been slow to adapt. Netflix themselves would have been out of business if they had not adapted (I don't even know whether there is any video rental store near me anymore as the only ones I knew have closed a while ago).

Some radio broadcasters have done a similar thing and an example could be Leo Laporte and his TWiT podcasting network. He was in the broadcasting industry and saw how radio had been killed off by TV, and he transitioned to podcasting (audio and video shows that can be queued up and listened to offline at any time that suits the listener).

It's better to acknowledge the global trends and to try to adapt to them and ride the wave than resist them through legislation or lock-in. But to be successful you do need to adapt your material to the new medium. The way you advertise, when you take breaks, involving the audience, etc all needs to suit the new medium to maximise its potential. Often the newer technology offers opportunities to do things you could not do before.

Here in South Africa DSTV's monopoly of sport has kept a large many of its subscribers captured. But more live sport is becoming available online, fibre and broadband is rolling out to more and more suburbs in South Africa, and there are plans to break DSTV's monopoly over sport. If so, DSTV can expect its rate of exodus of subscribers to accelerate if they don't do something different.

Sports coverage is expensive though and does not happen for free. Broadcasters have to pay for rights in the first place. But I'm wondering if in the future we won't see some effective way of curating the crowdsourcing of content from thousands of sports spectators phones. Sounds far-fetched, yes but if I see what is happening with AI and the quality of mobile phone footage it may well be possible.


#broadcasting #paytv #streaming

How streaming is killing linear TV
Traditional pay TV services are looking out over the edge of a cliff as global giants like Netflix and Amazon ramp up services.

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