Call me old school, or just plain old, but I just can’t reconcile the findings of a new Pew Research report that says only 42% of Americans consider the TV set a necessity. I say this after staying up past midnight watching Andy Roddick get beat by Janko Tipsarevic at the U.S. Open (great match by Tipsarevic, by the way). According to Pew, this number has been dropping—from 52% last year and 64% in 2006. Of all of the findings that come from Pew Research (and it seems like they do 20 surveys a day) this one hits home the most for me.
Comfortably settling in front of the tube almost every night is part of my DNA, but I see the younger demo watching shows on their iPads and phones on trains and planes these days. Plus, the expense of cable TV can’t be ignored, especially in today’s economy. In fact, SNL Kagan reported last week that in Q2 of this year the total number of subscribers dropped (by 711,000) for the first time in cable’s history. For communicators, all of this confirms that while still paying dividends, traditional broadcast outreach needs to be looked at closely. For me the question is, if regular TV is no longer a necessity, when will it be become extinct?
–Scott Van Camp