The Future of Television

With perhaps the exception of the great commercials that we’ll see today on Superbowl Sunday, many dislike the vast majority ads. For every 42 minutes of programming, we have to watch roughly 18 minutes of commercials. Usually, these advertisements aren’t entertaining, they’re just annoying. Perhaps, that explains the increased number of people who aren’t paying for cable or satellite TV. Hundreds of thousands of people now solely use streaming apps like Netflix, or HBO Go, and the online services of major cable networks such as NBC. People think they can go online to escape commercials.  However, as the number of people moving away from conventional tv increases we should too expect the amount of ads increase online - particularly in the field of live streaming. Right now in many cases it simply isn’t profitable for corporations to pay for online ads, even the lower prices offered by networks because of the smaller audience don’t make it worth it, that’s why most streaming services are currently devoid of advertisements. However, as the cable-cutting audience steadily grows and as there will be millions of people watching events like the Super Bowl commercials should too migrate online as advertisements in that manifestation become profitable. The supposed revolution of TV as we know it actually won’t result in much change, what is now conventional TV will be for all intents and purposes the same just it will now be in the online world.

This speaks a great deal to “technological innovations” in fields such as entertainment. Truth be told, the so-called innovation we have seen in the last decade or so hasn’t been that innovative at all. Most entertainment has simply switched mediums - the problems that we perceive to plague current means of entertainment will simply be transferred to the new medium. With the transition from CDs to iTunes piracy has only gotten worse. Many individuals turned to online services because they found cable too expensive, but the problem of cost is also going to afflict internet streaming. As the demand grows, the corporations that run the streaming have realized people are willing to pay far more for the product. As such, online streaming fees are rising as evidenced by Netflix’s recent spike in price. While online TV services seem very promising, in reality they will eventually look very similar to TV as we know it. All the same problems and complaints we have will still exist. 


Peter Koczanski