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A report from Sony concludes that we watch television for many reasons and one way or another we will still be watching television for many years to come.
Television is facing unprecedented disruptive change. There’s a popular view that the growth of online video means that we will watch less television through traditional channels. The multi-billion dollar question is whether young people will ever end up watching in the same way as their parents.
Rather than waiting to find out, we need to know what we continue to value about television.
Sony Professional Solutions Europe commissioned the report to provide an independent perspective on our relationship with television. Its author, William Cooper, of the media consultancy informitv, explores what we mean by television and what television means to us.
“We often hear that we want to watch whatever we want, whenever we want, wherever we want,” says Cooper. “The logical consequence of this is that we’re more likely to be watching alone. Yet as individuals we still value a shared viewing experience. We really want to watch the same programmes as other people, just not always at the same time.”
The report suggests that new ways of watching should be viewed as an opportunity more than a threat. If anything, overall video viewing is likely to increase.
Sony has a long tradition of leading and supporting the television and video industry through transformation and technology innovation. To adapt to changing user expectations, media and communications companies will need new workflows, new distribution models, and a new ways of thinking about the various needs of individual users and viewers.
“It might seem obvious why we watch television but the underlying reasons are much more complex. We need to understand why we watch today to anticipate how this may change and what that means for anyone involved in the media industry,” says Niall Duffy, Head of IT & Workflow Solutions at Sony. “We commissioned this work to invite and inform discussion on how television will evolve in a networked world.”
Why we watch television argues that powerful social and psychological factors drive the viewing experience. Understanding how and why people currently choose to watch television will help inform our view of video in the future.