It’s easy to observe the march of the revolutionary forces rampaging through the television industry. Just stand and watch people on a train, in a doctor’s surgery or ticket queue. Ten to 15 years ago, they might have been reading a newspaper, talking to someone else or staring into space. Now most, if not all, will be glued to their mobile phones or tablets.
Some will be texting or reading emails, but an increasing number will be watching their favourite TV show. For while once people simply watched TV at home, viewers can now use subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services, such as those offered by Netflix, to access programmes. They can choose content when they want rather than having to watch at a specific broadcast time. Moreover, they can do so via a wide variety of devices, from mobile phones to laptops and tablets. This development, and the ability to download or stream programmes, lets viewers watch TV anywhere and at anytime.
The arrival of internet-based TV service providers has boosted the range and the quality of content. To attract viewers, the insurgents are investing heavily in new programming, forcing the legacy broadcasters to follow suit in a bid to retain viewers.