Internet and, specifically, the streaming capabilities enabled have certainly given television a run for its money. However, it would be an overestimation to suggest that Internet has in any way killed or definitively replaced television in the same way that DVD phased out the VHS or the VHS phased out the Betamax. Internet is still a long way off from completely dominating or “killing” television as we know it.
Is Internet winning the war on TV?
Without a doubt. People in their respective camps will attest to or deny this claim, but it’s hard to really deny just how open and convenient Internet has made the viewing experience. We are no longer required to spend hours at a time in the living room or even watching the television itself. Culturally, consumers are becoming more mobile. While their love of the latest primetime dramas has not diminished, the way in which these programs are viewed has become decidedly more mobile.
We want to watch our favorite programs when we want, where we want. Streaming services like Hulu Plus and Netflix Streaming make this possible as they can be queued and accessed on many mobile devices. Service providers like DIRECTV offer HD DVRs like the Genie which make it easy for customers to record programs and even access them remotely using iPad or iPhone apps.
Will television become extinct?
Most likely, not the way of the Betamax or the VHS. In fact, evidence seems to suggest less of a hostile takeover and more of an amalgamation – a union – of the two. Many different televisions now come equipped with easy to access apps for streaming and engaging in the ever-emerging social TV sphere. Some TV models now come equipped with the necessary software to run streaming services and connect online.
Television programming itself has evolved in format and presentation to embrace both mobile users and those still willing to sit down for a few hours at a time. In a way, Internet is not killing television – it is simply enhancing it; changing it.
Will it blend?
Advances in social TV have already served as proof of concept when it comes to the merger of Internet and television. People still prefer a mobile, convenient experience over the regimented scenario of showing up at the “same bat time, same bat channel.” Networks and producers have needed to adapt with these changing trends, and great headway has been made in combining both experiences into something that applies to a broader audience.