A week ago, my family crowded around our living-room TV to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, and I couldn’t help thinking about the ironic clash between tradition and innovation: On the one hand, we mirrored that classic tableau of the family gathered around a single source of entertainment; on the other, our smart TV offered a distinctly modern viewing experience.
This fine balance between tradition and innovation is widespread — especially in regards to the evolution of TV media. Our Consumer Technographics® data shows that US consumers’ love for TV is unwavering, but the ways in which viewers access content are rapidly changing. Streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime have been catalysts for this change; now Comcast’s recently launched Stream TV opens a new avenue for TV consumption that lives somewhere between cable and Internet properties. With Stream TV, Comcast is targeting a growing group of TV lovers who don’t actually have a TV:
Our data indicates that TV consumption is not going away, but new channels of consumption are emerging — and fast. Much like the Thanksgiving holiday itself, US consumers hold fast to the TV experiences that are emotionally satisfying, even as the tools and technologies that host the experiences evolve.
In his recent report, my colleague James McQuivey states that “consumers need TV so much that they’re turning to digital tools and services to get as much of it as they possibly can . . . [Consumers] value the content, regardless of its source.” Therefore, according to James, TV content will trump distribution models, and the TV industry will withstand the disruptions it is now facing, albeit in a modified form.