But for years now the near death of television was prophesied – its cause would of course be the Internet and mobile technology, both reality disruptors born as the past century lived its final years. The fact is, offline television still holds a firm grasp on the attention of its viewers versus its digital counterpart, but not for long; it’s true, increasingly more, we’d rather turn on our computers and mobile devices to watch TV.
Our phones and 24/7 access to internet have reshaped the way we consume information, of any type. However, this change, as it turns out, is not the death of television, but the incentive it needs to reinvent itself.
And it’s doing just that, driven by the push for video content from megastar social networks like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, as well as by the increasing demand for new content options and high-quality productions, fed by VOD services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu.
Yes, we’re increasingly watching television online, but the real change from the XXth century status quo is the fact that up until just a few years back, the TV program was decided by an editorial office; today, this selection process is more and more automatized, while increasingly complex algorithms are created to take its place.
They do it quite effectively, as we’ve learned in the past years: based on our personal data we so generously offer whenever we’re online, these algorithms are getting increasingly better at learning our behaviour and predicting our future decisions.
As a result, we can focus our attention only on what really matters to us; considering that humanity produces more information in 1 minute today than it did in years just a century ago, and we still have one life to live, it is a major plus. On the downside, personalized content exposes us to what we have painfully learned to know as the filter bubble.
We have no remote control against it, because it’s in our nature to seek for the validation of our truths and beliefs. And TV is barely beginning to learn how to deliver this confirmation to us.
Cristi MIHAI. MP, STRATEGAD.