Nothing is more fundamentally important to commercial television than audience measurement, usually referred to as ratings. With so many different devices to get entertainment from, people are turning away from the “boob tube” and using more modern devices.
Research has found that when the internet explosion came, it would result in a drastic decrease in time spent watching TV. They were right! Television ratings have dropped by 50% over the last 10 years. This has been said to be the fastest decline since records were kept.
Companies that focus on these statistics, usually base their conclusions on the “key groups” of 18 to 49 year olds. They found that viewing dropped by 17% and that the ABC, NBC and FOX networks were the hardest hit.
Many factors could attribute to this decline, but the “writing has been on the wall” for some time. Almost ten years ago, studies predicted the TV viewing public would be significantly affected by Internet use and online social websites. Although TV continues to remain the dominant medium, the surging generation of so-called “digital natives” has had the greatest effect? This generation, the first to be born into the world of the web, seem to prefer other mediums. What’s funny is that services such as video games, mobile apps, online videos, Netflex and U-tube may not be the real concern.
Experts claim that TUMBLR is the “new TV. At the present time, viewers spend a lot of time watching programs produced by publishers, networks and studios. Could it spark a facebook type revolution, where stories tell of teen and young adults feeling addicted to facebook? Could Tumblr be the next sensation? Tumblr, in many ways, creates the same feelings that TV once provided. On closer inspection, it is clear that Tumblr fans are entertained by similar content still produced for “old media” like TV shows and movies. Keep in mind, consumers are a fickle group. Thus, some feel that Tumblr may not last. And what is its rising competition— Twitter.
At the same time, twitter is slowly heading in the direction of a prime place for media consumption. In a completely different approach than Tumblr, Twitter has its eyes set on being the first “TV companion app. Sure, the networks are clearly hungry to get a piece of the online action – it’s money for the taking. But at the end of the day, they’re still promoting “TV” – as in, flip a switch, power up your DVR, old-school television.”
It is a known fact that Twitter has spent a lot of time focusing on the confused and outdated TV industry. Not only has it partnered with Nielson to secure Twitter TV ratings, but it has connected with Fox, the Weather Channel, Bloomberg TV, ESPN, NBA and Major League Baseball, to name a few. They have invested large sums of money into these outlets.
The good news for many fans is that TV will probably never entirely disappear. But, like other mediums, such as music and books, it is definitely going to change. However, as the older generation leaves the market, the real power will be in the hands of this new crowd of consumers. They may not like TV as much as their parents did and may not even enjoy tweeting. Whether they will continue to spend time on Tumblr is yet to be seen.
That is the beauty of New Media. We never know whats coming up next.