There was a time, and it really wasn’t that long ago, that the latest episode of a soap, or the cliff-hanging episode of a television series would have everyone glued to the TV screen. Conversations the following day would be based around that episode and speculation about what might happen next would be the big topic of the conversation. The seven day wait for the next episode would seem like an eternity, but it was worth it.
Those days seem long gone now. With the advent of a growing number of on demand services such as BBC iPlayer, Channel 4 On Demand, Sky TV and even internet streaming services like Netflix the way in we now watch TV and even how we pick what we want to watch has completely changed. It’s no longer enough to watch a series an episode at a time, a mere 30 or 60 minutes of our favourite shows just doesn’t quite hit the spot any more. As a TV watching nation we have given birth to the culture of binge watching, we download an entire series and then settle down for the long haul watching episode after episode, pausing the images only to seek out food and drink, like a creature emerging from hibernation. All too soon we return to the sofa, the remote and the next episode. And why stop at one series, if you missed out on something the first time round you can download all the series and binge watch them instead; it’s just all too easy. That “watch next episode button” is calling us and we simply cannot resist.
Whilst people might not be quite ready to cut the cord of the more traditional TV viewing experience, more and more are moving to online viewing. Online TV is no longer the novelty it once was, it is convenient, easy to use and can be watched anywhere. It is the way TV is being increasingly watched today and will almost certainly be the way forward for our viewing convenience.
What does this all mean?
In a nutshell, the way that we watch TV has changed, and that means that the way TV programs are created has as well, in order to keep up with an increasing demand. Our hunger to watch more TV is creating a greater demand for new programs. Surveys have shown that 24% of people are now watching more than 40 hours of TV each week, this figure is up from 17% in 2012, and audiences are far more demanding than they ever were before. They don’t want to wait for the next episode; they want it all and they want it now. TV companies are obliging and allowing entire series, rather than single episodes, to be accessible at the same time through streaming.
Programs are now being made differently, if people are going to watch an entire series at once there is little point in filming a mid-season cliff hanger. Actors are noticing this change in format and find it freeing; it gives them fewer restraints. In addition, series’ have become big business with huge advertising campaigns popping up during the holidays for subscriptions to streaming services. Perhaps most interestingly, staying at home alone curled up on the sofa and watching TV is no longer seen as an unacceptable way to spend your evenings – in a complete about turn it is becoming the “norm”.
If you are not already streaming your TV viewing then you may want to look into it, because it certainly seems like it could be the way things will be in the not too distant future. For further Sky TV information or to ask about streaming in your area and what’s involved, just give them a call and see what they can do for you.