Technology has changed the way that the average user has consumed media. “Binging” is one of the primary ways that many users want to consume media, watching an entire season of television in one sitting. People want to consume content on their own terms, doing it when they want, the way they want it, and for as long as they want to. Technology plays a major role in making this a possibility.
The easiest way to see this trend in action is the reliance on streaming services for media consumption. Rather than pay for cable television, users would rather stream YouTube, Netflix, and Hulu. These new trends have made it more feasible for even fledgling content creators to get their products in front of audiences without depending on major distributors, resulting in a huge change in the way that people consume content they find on these platforms.
Prior to these new platforms growing in popularity, content creators generally had to go through a long and tedious process to get their products in front of anyone. They had to go through distributors for anyone to see their content, giving the distributor the power to purchase or lease the content, as well as make deals with advertising agencies and marketing organizations to bring in huge amounts of capital. There are still a lot of content distributors that go through this process, but it’s easier to avoid in today’s online content market. Many creators are beginning to put out their own paid services to collect their own revenue from online consumer demand.
While media companies relied on the scarcity of content in order to thrive in the past, this influx of new content creators and content platforms has ushered in a considerable change in the way technology is used. In particular, there are three ways that technology has driven the growth of content platforms and media consumption:
Shift #1: Media is On the Move
Mobile devices are more popular nowadays than they have ever been, and with this trend comes an increase in mobile device use for consuming media while on the go. Cisco predicts that mobile computing will drive a quarter of all video traffic by 2021. With this increase in mobile availability for streaming, more users will be able to take advantage of these services moving forward.
Media companies are now starting to roll out vMVPDs, also known as virtual Multichannel video programming distribution services. This gives users the ability to consume content on a number of devices, further customizing the way that users access it. With services like Sling TV, DirecTV Now, and Playstation Vue, there is no shortage of content streaming services. That being said...
Shift #2: Cord Cutters Are on the Rise
Cable companies used to have a monopoly on the way users consumed media, but thanks to streaming services, many users are opting to simply “cut the cord” and opt out of cable. They do this because they would rather have the on-demand services associated with streaming services. The most notable numbers associated with this have to come from the fact that cord cutting has increased by 33 percent so far in 2018 alone. While there are 186 million U.S. adults watching television through cable, satellite, or telecom-provided pay TV services, there are 33 million cord cutters, an increase of 3.8 percent--up from 2017’s drop rate of 3.4 percent.
Shift #3: Data Will Fuel Content Creation
Companies that distribute media collect a lot of data from their viewers. This data is then passed on to content creators, so they can make more informed decisions regarding what kind of content they produce. This alters advertising and the content creation process itself, as knowing what people want allows organizations to get the most return on their investment, as well as minimize production costs. While companies would once have to create many different kinds of shows and hope that one of them yields results, this isn’t necessarily the case any longer.
Televised sports are a great example of how networks and audience satisfaction can change through technology. Sports broadcasts use augmented reality to break down plays and analyze player movements, and thanks to mobile applications, viewers can engage with the content in new ways through analytics delivered in real time and data visualization.
What do you think the next big data initiative is for media consumption and streaming services? Let us know in the comments.