Biggest Threats to Broadcast Television: Episode 2

Biggest Threats to Broadcast Television: Episode 1

In episode 1 of our latest blog series – which explores the biggest threats to broadcast TV – we looked at how Facebook is positioning themselves to steal “traditional” television audiences.  We talked about the Facebook Live platform, Facebook’s partnership with E! Entertainment and the rumors that Facebook is eyeing the streaming rights for Thursday Night Football (which has since been gobbled up by Twitter, coincidentally).

But, as you may have guessed, they’re not the only company contributing to the decline in television viewership.  Which brings us to Episode 2…

Let’s talk Netflix.

Netflix is not new to killing off industries. Remember Blockbuster?  While it’s inevitable that Blockbuster would have eventually met their maker, Netflix certainly sped the process along.  Now, several years later, they’re positioning themselves to steal a serious chunk of viewers from ‘traditional’ broadcasters.  From 2014 to 2015, broadcasters saw a 3% decline in television viewing time.  Half of that 3% (or 1.5% for you math majors) is attributed to Netflix.  And that’s just over a 1-year period.  It’s estimated that Netflix will take away 14% of television viewers by 2020.

As a consumer, what makes Netflix so attractive is the amount of content available at such a reasonable price tag.  I pay $17/month for my Netflix subscription, and that includes their mail-order DVD service. I think I might be the last person on earth that still uses this.  You’d be hard pressed to find a cable subscription that offers the same amount of content for the same price.  Netflix offers movies and full seasons of popular television shows on demand, in addition to their own original series, like “House of Cards”, “Orange is the New Black” and “Jessica Jones”.  And their original content is good.  Netflix has received 79 Emmy nominations since 2013 and a recent study put Netflix in front of HBO for the best original programming (for the first time ever).  They’re competing against major broadcasters and premium subscriptions and, in some cases, they’re winning.

Netflix has claimed that they have no interest in producing live programming, but I think that’ll change as their competitors continue to offer live content.  There is a huge consumer demand for live content and it seems to be a perfect sales offering for attracting new customers.

So who else is contributing to the demise of broadcast television?  Tune into Episode 3 of our series to find out.

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