In the spirit of all the editorial writers, columnists and pundits who offer up predictions for 2012, here are thoughts on why 2012 will be the year of television (once again), writes Dave Morgan for MediaPost.
1 TV beats boredom. Mark Cuban said it best earlier this year at the Ignition conference in New York City. When asked whether web video viewing would eventually surpass television, he responded “no” — that TV’s “only real competition was boredom, and [TV] was winning.”
2 Social media driving more TV viewing. If 2011 was marked by any media phenomenon, it was the extraordinary growth of social media, led by services like Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. Social media also showed it was a complement to TV viewing and drives better ratings. Social media has transformed watching TV from a solitary experience into one that is — well, social.
3 Better TV devices. Television sets keep getting better and cheaper. The flat screens are getting thinner. The picture is getting crisper. The sound is getting more robust. 3-D may be flopping, but smart, connected TVs are poised to explode. When was the last time you watched a tube-based TV?
4 Better set-top boxes. Alternative set-top boxes are exploding across America as viewers tether their TV to new and powerful Internet-enabled gaming, streaming and browsing devices. Whether it’s xBox, Roku, Boxee, TiVo, Apple TV, Playstation or dozens of others, just as the Internet is coming to TV, so are a bunch of new, great networked computers to make the experience even better.
5 Apple’s much-anticipated iTV. Yes. I know we’re all getting a bit tired of the speculation and hype, but ever since Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs came out, the consumer tech world has been afire with talk of Jobs finally “cracking the code” on making a better TV experience. Some expect it to come out in the second or third quarter of this coming year. We’ll see.
6 Better programming. Not only is TV getting the benefit of new Web content streaming services, but television networks and studios are continuing to produce and distribute ever-better programming. Led by a strong TV ad market, the need to compete for fragmenting audiences and the booming demand in international markets for quality U.S. programming, TV content keeps getting better and better.
7 More sports. 2012 is an Olympics year. Expect more than two weeks of fast-paced sports programming, with TV viewers glued to their screens.
8 Presidential elections. No news events can drive TV audiences, from local to national, like the drama and comedy (unfortunately) of a hotly contested presidential election, Congressional elections and thousands of state and local elections. 2012 is certainly shaping up that way.
9 More channel diversity. As broadcast networks and large cable networks seek higher carriage fees from system operators, something will have to give. I expect that operators will start dumping marginal channels to pay for the most popular ones like CBS, ESPN, AMC and Food Network. This will open up opportunities for lots of new, small, niche-focused networks that don’t mind offering their programming up for free. Expect to see more different and unusual ad-supported programming, particularly non-English language programming from overseas.
10 TV advertising will become more digital. This is my own personal and professional project, but its time is coming. Television advertising simply has not kept pace with technology or competition. That will change. Viewers are subjected to too many irrelevant ads, and national advertisers waste far too many of their impressions on people who don’t want to, or who can’t, buy their products. When TV starts giving people ads they want, the whole industry, especially the viewer, will benefit.
This post is republished with the kind permission of MediaPost.com