In the US, adults are spending more and more time with different kinds of digital media[1], while their attention is also shifting from traditional TV to PCs, and smartphones and tablets connected to the web.

What’s interesting is that while there is an enormous variety of traditionally broadcast TV channels to choose from (a monthly average of 206 channels according to Nielsen research), US adults only actively watch 20 of them[2]. In other Nielsen data for US adults, while TV still rules people are using a broader range of devices for home entertainment, with apps and the web now hot on the heels of TV. The total time spent on other devices now outweighs time spent watching traditional TV.

Most popular media in US


If you look at the behaviour of younger viewers in particular, what’s evident is that Generation Z (12-20 year olds) consume the smallest amount of traditional TV, either when live or time shifted/recorded. Arguably, this is the effect of a new and younger audience becoming bored (or simply not accustomed to) traditional TV’s linear approach, which might be a challenging argument to accept if you work in broadcast TV.

To help you to understand, let’s look at this analogy. Nowadays, traditional TV is like a middle-aged guy trying to gain popularity on Snapchat – the technology feels the same, the rules are clear, but somehow it simply doesn’t work for him. What he says and does is simply not attractive enough for the audience on that platform. (Believe me, I feel like this guy at times as I don’t always understand the buzz surrounding Snapchat.)

Back in the broadcasting world, you may be more than conscious that new ways of consuming media are coming. You might feel they’re already here. Yet, with huge resources, varied schedules and all the broadcasting technology at your disposal, perhaps you’re still left wondering why traditional TV isn’t as attractive as it was? Perhaps you can’t quite put your finger on why this is the case.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the opportunities and threats below.

Opportunities and threats for traditional TV

What’s common amongst the above threats is the impact of the internet and the smartphone. Viewers now have more flexibility – they can watch and interact with digital, web TV and OTTs in any manner they like, where and when they want, and on the device of their choosing.

Why should viewers miss the ol’ set-top box? So, is this the end of linear TV as we know it? It’s too early to jump to this kind of conclusion. For sure, there are now many more options to traditional TV and improvements that linear broadcasters should make to stay in the game.

Let’s dive in and check out six ways you can sharpen your focus to stay alive in this fast-paced, digital-first world.

  1. Make the web your friend and ally
  2. First things first, if you haven’t done so already, make your brand more visible online by expanding your social media presence. Take time to reconsider your options, making an audit of your efforts to date to identify what’s worked and what hasn’t.

    When relaunching your social media presence, have a video content strategy in place that puts you in a position to start streaming and producing videos for social channels. Streams and social videos make for highly engaging web content and, as a broadcaster, you are ideally placed to create a constant stream of such content. To do so, choose social video production tools and platforms that will fit your needs, and ones that will enable you to stream and produce videos from live content and any archival content you want to use.

    Live video generates 60x more interactions per 1,000 fans than photos and text posts.

    Live streams and videos are undoubtedly the most engaging types of content. When checking Facebook streaming results for one of our Tellyo clients, we learned that it is possible to create up to 400 interactions per 1,000 fans with live video, while images were able to reach only 6 interactions per 1,000. For further interesting stats, check out the case studies section on our website.

  3. Use your TV brand as leverage
  4. Having a strong and recognisable brand is unbelievably helpful online – it will help you to stand out. If your logo is well known, you should remember to place it on your video content, so that when this spreads around the internet you get the brand recognition you deserve. With a little bit of luck, many viewers will trace your quality content back to your channel or Facebook page.

  5. Your experience is your advantage
  6. Being experienced with video production and everything broadcasting related is a huge advantage over your competitors. Being able to create TV-grade video content, while having an experienced team and professional equipment are all strong assets. However, these assets aren’t enough to be successful on the web and in the social media, but they will help a lot. You can always talk to us here at Tellyo about how to combine your experience with an advanced, social video production platform such as ours.

  7. Retain your loyal viewers
  8. Have you ever heard of the Pareto principle[4]? Better known as the 80/20 rule which states that 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. Translating this into broadcast language – it means that 20% of your audience is responsible for 80% of your views. Therefore, if you want to be successful in social media, play to your core audience. Let them know that soon they will be able to watch their favourite shows and events via other media as well.

  9. Work across platforms
  10. Remember that social media isn’t monolithic – it’s decentralised and each platform has its own properties. You shouldn’t copy and paste your strategy from one channel to another. For example, if you decide to stream content then use YouTube, Facebook or Twitter, but only YouTube will be a good place as a platform to host clips for a longer period. Facebook will give you a big audience and visibility initially, but people will not find your videos once they vanish from timelines.

  11. Conversations – it takes (at least) two to tango!
  12. Your audience has a voice, and it will use it. In comments, emails and chats, they will use each possible channel to give you their opinion about your content. And that’s a good thing – a gold mine of interactions and engagement to treasure. You should work hard to maintain these conversations. Be active: answer questions and ask for opinions.

    It’s too early to abandon ship

    Traditional, linear TV still has a lot to offer audiences. But the TV landscape in the next 5-10 years will be dramatically different to what we have now.

    In the meantime, there is likely to be many more advances and disruptive changes. Now is your chance to decide whether you want to be part of it or not.

    [1] Source 1[2] source 2 [3] Source 3[4] Source 4

Pawel Kanski

Content specialist at Tellyo, Widzew Łódź supporter

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