Live TV's news-agenda puts up a fight against on demand

The fluid nature of the modern world makes it incredibly difficult to get a fix of the latest and greatest TV shows without clearing the diary. Consequently, on demand services are more popular than ever before.

Many would therefore believe it safe to assume that video on demand (VOD) is gaining traction and set to kill off traditional TV in the same way new media is supposedly setting about print? However, much like the misguided and premature funeral for print media, the decline of broadcast television is largely over-exaggerated.

On demand services simply can't generate the same buzz as live, linear TV.

There can be little denying that streaming and instant access services are rising in popularity - after all, Netflix has close to 60 million subscribers worldwide, according to Forbes - but it doesn't mean they're the be-all and end-all to the modern media consumer.

A news-driven world

The main reason that live, linear TV will never be fully usurped lies is the news. People want to hear about interesting, topical and exciting stories first, and video on demand services will always be playing catch up.

The viewership of TV is not be underestimated when it comes to news-driven stories. For example, in the UK, a televised leadership debate centred on the country's upcoming general election garnered 7.4 million viewers - 33 per cent of the entire live TV audience at the time, according to the Guardian.

On demand services, while they can show highlights or recaps of current affairs, simply can't generate the same buzz as live, free-to-air TV.

In fact, research from the University of Westminster in the UK explained that television is far from being dumbed down and 'remains the most important and trusted source of national and international news for the vast majority of people'.

Therefore, TV monitoring is - despite any misplaced opinions - increasing in importance. Not only are broadcasters striving to be more up to minute - via 24 hour networks - but the quality and informative nature of the content remains unchanged.

There can be little denying that the media world is malleable, but the traditional platforms - especially television when the viewing statistics are considered - are still the most engaged with, and offer better insights into the way the average person consumes media.

The news-driven and current affairs agenda of live, linear TV is yet to be bested by on demand services.

On demand and the future

Research from Thinkbox outlines that video on demand services do obviously have an appeal, but they will play second fiddle to live, linear TV unless they can find ways to change going forward.

"Live TV is best equipped to meet all of the needs and that is why it will endure, no matter what new platforms emerge. Live TV is our daily food whereas VOD is more like a box of chocolates." surmised Neil Mortensen, Research and Planning Director with Thinkbox.

In the future, on demand services may hold more live streaming capabilities and offer an immersive real-time experience to media consumers. However, for the time being at least, live TV and its news-driven agenda will remain on top as the most engaged with video-based platform.

 

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