“Television” refers as much to the transmission of video content through the airwaves as it does to the format in which said content is presented to consumers. And both of them are in a state of constant shift – or better said, evolution – fueled by the spread of new technologies that are no longer based on radio waves but the internet. The internet has determined individuals and companies at all levels to create and share content, and this content ranges from casino reviews and daily personal blog posts to serialized content made available to the consumers on-demand, through internet streaming, on any device with a screen and an internet connection. This has already affected the viewer base of traditional TV stations – the decline is slow but steady – and this impact is expected to increase in the coming years.
But the decrease in the number of viewers is just one of the many things changing in the world of television. The most interesting part is the one with brand new content creators entering the competition, with content that’s good enough to compete with what traditional creators have to offer. One of the biggest phenomena of the last years was a series called “Stranger Things”, created by global online video streaming giant Netflix. The company is well aware of the fact that it has to create high-quality content to be able to attract – and maintain – its viewer base in the long run, and with this series, it has given birth to the perfect example that has truly become a global phenomenon. To make things even more attractive internationally, Netflix dubs its content in several languages and offers subtitles in even more, thus making the experience as familiar and enjoyable as possible.
Fresh, original, and enjoyable content is the key to growing and maintaining one’s viewer base – and Netflix is doing just that. For 2018, it plans to invest a whopping $8 billion in original content. And not just any content. Some of its serialized projects have been very well received in the last couple of years – Netflix has received several Academy Award nominations for its documentaries, a Golden Globe for its “The Crown”, and many other awards and accolades for its original programming. And this original, quality content is available not only over the airwaves or through cable but also on smartphones, tablets, PCs, and laptops – basically any screen that can be connected, either directly or indirectly, to the internet.
Streaming is becoming the most attractive new method of delivering serialized – and feature-length – content to viewers, preferred especially by younger generations. Cord-cutters, as they are often referred to, no longer settle for the traditional means of receiving content over the airwaves or through cable. Instead, they choose to stream their content when they want and pay for it directly instead of an interrupted viewing experience through traditional channels. And Netflix is by far not the only major media company to do this – others like Disney, who plans to launch its own Netflix alternative, and Apple, are following its path.
With so many changes and new players entering the ring, 2018 will be an interesting year for television.