The trends are unmistakable. Cable TV viewership is going down. Broadcast TV viewership is going down. Does that not signal an impending death? No. More accurately, TV as we know it is dying and more sources of video entertainment are available than ever before.
The old adage, “300 channels and nothing is on” speaks volumes about how much video people can consume. So does the internet age where hundreds of additional video channels are available for online streaming. TV as we know it may be dying but the TV we don’t know will be far different with a variety of video sources that will dwarf the typical channels offered by your local cable TV company.
Your television isn’t going anywhere. Your choices to view television– in whatever form it may be; live shows, news, sports, movies, TV shows, documentaries, reality TV– are climbing exponentially with Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Netflix, Hulu, and others. Channels are being supplanted by applications, but that sea change doesn’t tell the whole story.
As an example, Apple TV isn’t just about streaming video channels in the form of apps. It’s also a platform for games, home monitoring applications, and as a large screen for anything and everything that resides on your Mac, iPhone, and iPad. Today’s television sets are becoming a repository for anything that moves– video, that is. Today’s modern television sets are a single screen with multiple sources; cable TV, terrestrial TV, Apple TV, and other streaming services, all thanks to multiple HDMI ports and a growing array of video choices.
As much as we would all love to cut the cable TV cord– and in many locales cable TV subscriber numbers continue to drop– this massive sea change of video choices isn’t likely to uproot cable TV until everyone can be a cable TV company. Apple wants to do it and it’s just a matter of time before the Mac and iPhone maker has a streaming subscription service– perhaps ala carte– that could rival your monthly cable TV bill (which often includes high speed internet) but not the selection of movies and traditional network and cable network television shows.
It’s traditional TV that’s dying; but like Dr. Who, simultaneously is being transmogrified into a content shopping mall with a growing number of video channels; some free, and like Google’s new YouTube Red, some subscription. Apple TV will be merely one of the many ways our homes, and our televisions, are being changed by technology. If the past decade has shown us that everyone has a public voice with blogs and online comments, then the next decade may show us that everyone is a movie star. If only for 15-seconds.