Up to the 20th century, it was difficult to imagine a world without television. People would watch their favorite soaps or shows almost all day, all night. With the evolution of television, it had made its place in billions of homes around the world. And in the 21st century, I highly doubt the importance of television has remained the same.
Television, which ruled the world as the most effective medium of entertainment and information, is being slowly taken down by the Internet, YouTube contents, and streaming services. This gives birth to the curiosity about whether television shows will sustain in the future. Does television have a future, or will other means of entertainment replace it?
People find it easier to use the Internet, YouTube, and streaming services to watch their favorite shows. The shows that air on television also airs on YouTube, because of which people wait for the show to air on YouTube rather than watching television. The most sought after streaming services have created a worry to the television providers regarding the discontinuation of their cables. In this article, let’s find out more about the evolution of television and it’s probable future.
EVOLUTION OF TELEVISION AND ITS GROWTH
In the 1800s, when the buds of technology had just sprouted, there used to be mechanical televisions. That’s where the evolution of television also began. They transmitted images onto a screen; very much different from that of the present world. Later, in 1927, the world’s first electronic television was invented by a 21-year-old inventor, Philo Taylor Farnsworth. Then after the invention of television, the television stations started appearing in the USA.
On July 2, 1928, a mechanical TV station called W3XK aired its first broadcast. From then on, television made its entry into the lives of people and was quite popular. Since then, there came a lot of technological advances, of which the Internet is the most important one. On January 1, 1983, a network of networks was assembled, which is the modern Internet.
Gradually and then like in an instant, the evolution of television shifted towards YouTube channels and mobile applications. And with that, the evolution of television also included slim TVs, smart TVs, LCDs, O/LEDs.
Over the past 10-15 years, there has been an exponential growth in technology that resulted in the change of entire industries. Streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV, Amazon Prime, HBO, and a few others have come to existence. These streaming services allow the viewers to watch a greater variety of TV shows, movies, documentaries, and much more via the internet.
At present, these streaming services have become so popular that it has come to a point where people will be watching cable TV in the future at all or not. There are only very few people who prefer cable TV in comparison to the majority of people who like streaming services better.
WHY STREAMING SERVICES?
A research done by Survey Monkey, with a sample of 500 Americans, showed that 60% of those who are currently using both cable TV and streaming services are likely to dump cable TV in the next 12 months. If it continues like this, there may be a generation who has no idea what cable TV means, only it’s information will be on the internet.
A decade ago, the same cable TV used to garner a soaring number of views. But in the present times, there has been a significant drop in its number of views. There has been a greater shift in the viewer’s choice of entertainment. Following are a few of the reasons that have made the streaming services as the viewer’s number 1 choice:
- There is a lot of convenience watching shows on the streaming services as one gets to watch the programs according to their will. One does not need to stick to a TV schedule or go to cinemas.
- There is a lot of variety of shows available in the streaming sites to watch. Even the older TV programs that are no longer airing on cable television are available in the streaming sites.
- One can “binge-watch”, which means one can watch all the episodes of a show in one sitting. It’s a fun thing to do during the holidays.
- Streaming services tend to be cheaper than cable televisions.
- The streaming services offer their own new, exclusive feature movies and series. The streaming services’ success streak on such movies and series have pulled people to subscribe to them.
- There is better parental control because parents can easily monitor what their kids are watching. If in need, they can keep them away from content inappropriate for their age.
LIFE OF TELEVISION
On course of the evolution of TV, people brought TV sets to their homes to be informed, to be entertained, to connect to the world outside. This is all true even today. It is also true that smartphones and internet have made everything available on the palm of our hands. And everything available on TV and more are available on the smartphone.
However, there is still a population that is sticking to cable televisions. It might seem like it is people in their 60s. But there are people who watch cable TV for live sports and news. Also, there is still a population that watches TV for shows and programs on Discovery, National Geographic, etc. And a lot of live events are viewable only on cable televisions like the Oscars, Grammys or other special events. And the trend gives hope for television to be there for a long, long time.
Some people state that the quality is another reason that they don’t use streaming services. The delays, buffering, skips, and the lower resolution that sometimes the streaming services offer disinterest the viewers. Hence, cable TV still survives and will survive in some corners of the world.
Streaming services are more like a luxury to people. But there are still some parts in the world that have no idea what streaming services mean. These services are moreover popular in developed countries and slowly being introduced in developing countries as well. However, it is highly unlikely that it will be popular in underdeveloped countries. For them, cable televisions are more comfortable and reachable. Hence, the future of cable television isn’t dark yet.
Along with the evolution of television, it has come to the point where it has a fear of extinction. The world and technology are changing. There might be some advancement in television shows as well. Who can tell? There clearly is no doubt that the streaming services are ruling the world. But this by any means doesn’t mean that cable televisions are on the way to extinction.
In the previous decades, people used to say the same about newspapers and radios, when television was just on the rise. But we can find ourselves still reading the newspapers and still tuning to the radio stations. The same will be with cable televisions. Further, if the television providers come up with a decent cable TV service with a good channel package, people may continue with their cable subscription.