TV Goes the Way of the Phonograph

Posted on September 2, 2010 
Filed Under General

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

Comments

  • http://contemporarycommunicationsconsulting.com/ Elizabeth

    Since the mandatory digital conversion last year, TV in its original form- free access- is extinct.

  • http://www.nashvillecopy.com Clay

    Television is facing the same challenges as print – how do you remain relevant when the public no longer considers you a necessity?

    Will television die? No. It will have to redefine itself, and there will be casualties along the way. It will wane, but not diminish.

  • David

    I have to agree with Clay–and strongly disagree with Elizabeth. I know a lot of people who have “cut the cord” as a result, in part, to the digital conversion, simply because with an antenna they can receive up to 30 channels–completely free–over the air. Digital signals–and the brand new transmitters that broadcast them–appear to be more robust than their analog counterparts. Certainly, if you have even a dsl hookup you can see as much “TV” as anyone could stand, but free TV is far, far from dead–quite the contrary.

  • David

    I have to agree with Clay–and strongly disagree with Elizabeth. I know a lot of people who have “cut the cord” as a result, in part, of the digital conversion, simply because with an antenna they can receive up to 30 channels–completely free–over the air. Digital signals–and the brand new transmitters that broadcast them–appear to be more robust than their analog counterparts. Certainly, if you have even a dsl hookup you can see as much “TV” as anyone could stand, but free TV is far, far from dead–quite the contrary.

Copyright © 2014 Access Intelligence, LLC. All rights reserved • All Rights Reserved.