It seems like these days people don’t sit down and watch TV. There is no looking through the TV guide to see when your favourite show is going to be on, it has become the age where we can watch entertainment whenever, wherever. We don’t need a certain time frame or setting to watch what we want, the internet is now our TV, but why?
The first question we should ask is who is watching streaming services? The current market has seen an exponential growth since its introduction. Studies have shown that in 2018, 85% of Australians were watching online content on any device, and in 2021, it is predicted that 2021, 239 million people in the US will be digital video viewers. The more online streaming is growing, the more people seem to use it.
And the main users seem to be the younger generation, a study by the Pew Research Centre in 2017 found that “six-in-ten of those ages 18 to 29 (61%) say the primary way they watch television now is with streaming services on the internet, compared with 31% who say they mostly watch via a cable or satellite subscription and 5% who mainly watch with a digital antenna”. But what sites are available?
The first site I want to address is Youtube Premium. Youtube already is the main free entertainment online, however this entertainment was made by average people, and with 5 billion videos watched a day, its no brainer Youtube saw the suggestion to move to a paid service. The service offers premium content, no ads on all videos, and other perks, and is available in 52 countries as of 2019, but is it as popular?
After the first year, it actually wasn’t doing well, a report in 2017 found that it was making a small amount of money then through advertising, the rebranding to Premium didn’t seem to work either, as after eight months of the launch of the rebranding, Youtube Originals would be available to everyone in the coming months via ad content, content that people paid for. It seems like that with competition, the strategy isn’t taking into its favour.
The second is Facebook and Instagram Live, which like Youtube, users could stream online, but has now become a platform of its own. People have now taken to streaming their live thoughts online, a convienience for most, as with Youtube the live stream is available, but not as popular.
However, both Facebook and Instagram Live have faced much criticism, As anyone can stream no matter what. In 2019 The shootings that occurred in Cristchurch in a Mosque was live streamed on Facebook for a full 12 minutes. 200 viewers were watching the stream, with no one reporting the stream. This brought up the issue that people will watch whatever is live, no matter the horror that occurs. The stream was taken down, but still floats around on the internet. In the coming months, legislation would be placed onto streaming and terrorist content, however in my opinion, Im not sure if it will stop it.
I think that as more and more online sites switch to online stream and video focus as this is what gains both views and advertisement. However, I am not sure if they can follow suite to what Hulu, Netflix and Stan have amassed. There is rules, streaming is not censored, and sites that were free to have pay walls does deter people. We will have to wait to see what happened with these sites, but for now, we can definitely say that streaming is now the people TV.