Nineties-era couch surfing and nightly TV lineups are a thing of the past. Everyone has emotional arguments, but it’s hard to debate numbers and economic reality (more on this from Don, later in the week).
Technology has changed my generation’s expectations and the way we watch shows; for the Millennial generation the process has been made more convenient and, in some ways, a bit more complex.*
We despise the idea of throwing money to some cable company when the networks put out “nonsense” that we don’t care to watch. Sure there are one or two shows we’ll seek out - and we’ll tune in for our favorite sporting events - but even then, there are many options that make it all so much easier.
Netflix, for one, has rebounded from last year’s Qwikster debacle and is currently the subject of some economic forecasts that indicate the company’s stock is under-valued. Netflix has been around for several years, making it more enjoyable and cheaper for people to watch what they want without commercial interruption. Since Netflix has been turned into an app for smartphones, it is currently the leading subscription service for watching your favorite episodes and movies on your cell phone.
We like this.
Netflix consistently disrupts traditional television models because it has given TV users a way to choose what they want to watch at the time and place that is convenient for them. There are currently 23 million Netflix streaming subscribers and 2 billion hours have been spent by Netflix users watching streamed video on hi-speed internet. With the numbers increasing, this spells certain doom for traditional television, right?
Well, not necessarily…
Studies are starting to indicate that Netflix has the ability to increase the amount of viewers for seasonal episodes. Nielsen ratings have been correlated with Netflix-specific release dates and the data seems to indicate that users are watching shows / seasons they missed, then are making an effort to watch new episodes as they air. The fifth season premiere of the television series “Mad Men” drew 3.5 million viewers, which was a 20 percent increase from season four. The jump happened to coincide with Mad Men seasons 1-4 availability on Netflix.
Here at Verge Pipe Media, we talk a lot about mobile technology. Mobility is part of my generation’s satisfaction equation. We use our phones for our alarm clock, calendar, music box, camera, video camera and now we use it as our TV and DVD player. Having Netflix on your phone is convenient and it’s just what our generation wants. We like to have it all in the palm of our hand because it’s easy. We can take it anywhere we go. We want our definition of good entertainment. We don’t need hundreds of irrelevant channels and we certainly don’t want to be tethered to a network’s schedule.
Netflix is cheaper and it delivers media the way we prefer - on our terms.
Article by: Stephanie Young, Summer 2012 Imagineer | firstname.lastname@example.org
*Sidebar: Netflix-like services are more convenient but have actually made media consumption a much more convoluted process. Instead of simply watching what’s on and available, we go to Netflix for back-seasons of our favorite TV shows and documentaries, then there is On-Demand for recently missed episodes. Hulu also helps catch us up, while offering up a smattering of obscure programs (BBC, Anime, etc). Amazon Prime, iTunes and Crackle take care of our movie needs. And what we can’t find in the above, we’ll just find on a torrent. For free.