TV stations in the wind

TV stations in the wind
TV stations in the wind
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The year 2023 brings news that TV makers will never like. At the end of the year, the number of Internet users, according to “KEPIOS”, will reach the same number of TV viewers, 5.4 billion people, in a precedent that occurs for the first time in history, which sends many messages about the future of the television industry in this world that pat digitally.

Some may not see this as a threat from the point of view of convergence through the integration between digital and non-digital media, while others acknowledge that it is a direct threat to the status of traditional television broadcasting, to move from being the screen most followed by people, so that the new media collides with the old media, according to the expression Henry Jenkins.

By examining reports and statistics issued by international media organizations or research companies, clear facts emerge. What is happening does not represent a change, but rather a revolution, that may undermine the traditional model of television broadcasting, whether in the aspect of entertainment or news.

We start with the recently released Reuters Institute 2023 Report on Media Markets, whose data on television confirms – in my opinion – the concept of approach displacement in media, and places it in the context of the dangers of the current, hasty and impulsive moment.

In the Reuters report, which is added to the reports of previous years, there is direct talk about the decline of television as the most affected media in addition to radio and printed newspapers, which is confirmed by industry indicators as well as closure procedures, downsizing and layoffs of workers in regions around the world, due to the intensification of competition with YouTube and the orientation of television broadcasters. themselves to broadcast across digital platforms.

If we look at the Egyptian case, we will see a clear reflection of these facts, represented by broadcasters and media professionals resorting to the Internet, to appear and communicate with viewers who have become users, especially through live broadcasts on their personal pages, and to share their thoughts and opinions on current affairs, public issues, or even personal thoughts about oneself. And the result was millions of views and more followers, “Mahmoud Saad Mithal”.

The other threat that has been going on for years, but today is taking a new turn, is the challenge of watching applications after Netflix decided to switch to a new model that depends on adding ads to the application and selecting segments for use, which represents enormous pressure on television stations, and directly hits the revenues of these stations that depend mainly on Advertising revenue, which was originally affected by the decline in returns in favor of digital.

Last year, the Reuters Institute report stated that television retreated to the second place as a source of news for the public, while the online was the first source with a rate of 63%, compared to 48% for television, which was 72% in 2014.

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With regard to television news, users avoiding news show a tendency to move away from negative news, and these percentages are increasing in some countries of the world, such as England. And that the demand for television news at the time of the outbreak of the crisis was urgent, but it quickly decreased, but the developments of the war became regular news, like international crises that had been pending for years.

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On the entertainment side, TikTok, which is rising strongly, stands out as a direct challenge to pay-per-view platforms, and television as well. This is the platform that young people and young people and segments of other generations visit to see entertaining funny clips as the first goal of use, along with the time the user spends on it, about “24 hours.” Monthly, it draws interest from TV stations that focus on entertainment in their programming and spend a lot on producing their shows.

More than 3 years ago, the British Government Communications Authority (Ofcom) said that digital broadcasting has surpassed traditional television broadcasting for the first time, and that there is an increase in subscriptions for viewing applications compared to traditional television services provided by Sky, Virgin Media and others, and stated that the BBC must Worry about the rise of digital broadcasting, after 3.5 million British residents canceled the station’s fee in 3 years.

In the year 2022, the Nielsen Research Report confirmed this trend around the world, with the number of users of digital TV broadcasting services at home increasing during the first half of the year to unprecedented historical proportions, which outperformed the proportions of traditional satellite broadcasting for the first time.

According to the report, the percentage of users of digital television broadcasting reached 34.8%, while the percentage of users of traditional satellite broadcasting decreased to 34.4%, for the first time in history, so that last year was the year of the fulfillment of the prophecy that Internet broadcasting is the future of the content of home television screens.

Many factors have contributed to the current revolution at the level of television broadcasting services, due to the shift of entertainment content to broadcasting over the Internet, as well as sporting events, and the possibility of replaying and repeating viewing in a way different from traditional broadcasting, and then leading digital broadcasting services globally, which are in the order: Netflix, then YouTube and Hulu And Prime Video, Disney Plus, and the giant HBO streaming service.

It seems that the adaptation resorted to by the television makers from the stage of “Web 1” to “Web 2” by merging the Internet with the mass media, will not be sufficient for the traditional television broadcasting stations to continue even in light of the changes in the level of production and operation processes, as digital broadcasting is growing rapidly and taking many forms. New, with the changing viewing habits, artificial intelligence and the Web 3 phase, traditional broadcast television will be blown away.

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