Ok, the title is a slight exaggeration. No one killed anyone. Not yet at least, but if we’re looking at history and at current trends that will be the case. The TV, as we know it now, will be gone from our lives and it will turn into the new radio. The new TV, where we will focus all of our conscious attention is the internet. The “mobile internet” more precisely.
Video killed the radio star
During wartime a strong habit was created. People were listening to radio for news and entertainment. Even though it was a well-rooted action, that people used to do regularly, at specific times, for specific shows for leisure, TV in just a couple of years managed to steal significant audience from the older platform.
Amount of time spent on radio, after TV started broadcasting fell by 30% in the UK from 1949 to 1953. 30% in just 4 years. There were 3 radio channels to choose from and just one TV channel during this time.
Internet might kill the TV
Even Americans who are historically big on TV consumption already spend more time looking at their phone. And we could safely assume that this trend will continue.
While the phone will replace the TV in terms of where we direct most of our attention, the TV could become the new radio. Just think about it for a second, when are we listening to radio mostly? While doing some other stuff, where our eyes need to be busy. For me a lot of that happens in the car. Or while doing house chores, although Spotify-Tidal-Deezer trio might have a say in that also.
We are already using TV in a way how we were using radio at the beginning of TV. Back in the day, when you heard something happened, you turned on the TV to get the latest, Breaking-News. Nowadays many people just tune into their phone as social media is much faster in delivering the latest.
TV is turning into background noise, it keeps us “entertained” in the morning while preparing to go to work, but we are not dedicating our full attention to it as we used to.
Tesla and Uber already have self-driving cars in place. They could become a real, main-stream thing, sooner than we expect. When that happens, we no longer need our eyes on the road, we can just turn on CNN or MTV while scrolling our Facebook feed for interesting stuff.
Also, radios tend to get really TV-ish. They have been live video streaming for some time now. Mostly their morning shows and the quality slowly but surely gets better. Some of them also post the shows on YouTube.
In some sense the world of TV and radio are mashing together. Radio becomes more visual and we are starting to consume traditional television without it being the main focus of our attention.
Phone Screen > Real Life
People might become more easily reached through their phone than through real life. And it has already started. We all have that one friend who is always on their phone, even at social gatherings. If we want his full attention, it might be better to text him.
Men and women are bumping into each-other on the street, because they are not looking to where they are walking. Drivers are causing accidents, because they received a notification from Instagram.
Next time, when you’re sitting at any red light check out what more than half of the people are doing. They are not paying attention to the radio, or God forbid, the traffic, no they’re scrolling through their social media feeds.
OK, dreaming is over. Get back to work, but not before letting me know in the comments on which platform goes most of your conscious attention?