UK report notes TV health at odds with dire predictions


No less a dignitary than Google Chairman Eric Schmidt told those assembled at an industry gathering in Scotland that despite predictions of its imminent demise, consumers were still using television far more than the internet, and that the use of television was still growing.

According to BBC, Schmidt spoke at the Edinburgh International Television Festival, where he remarked, “In 2010, UK adults spent as much time watching TV in four days as they did using the web in a month. TV is still clearly winning the competition for attention!”

A Deloitte study of British media habits underscored Schmidt’s analysis – it said that in May 2011 viewing was up 6% year-over-year, for a total of 364 viewing hours. The number was far ahead of internet sites competing for consumer’s time and attention, and led Deloitte to comment, “Not too shabby for a medium that has been, and continues to be, prophesied to disappear.”

BBC also noted that the sale of television sets was still on the rise, particularly those with large screens, 40 inch or larger. Not only that, it noted that many internet sites were clamoring for the high quality programming that has for the most part been beyond the production capabilities of internet producers.

It was also noted that internet sites such as YouTube were seeking access to those same 40 inch and larger television screens that many use to view regular television programming. In the end, Schmidt said he expected that there would not be a situation in which one group of distributors engulfed another, but rather a convergence where both traditional and internet programmers exist side-by-side – something that is already happening in the form of consumers accessing broadcast content on a television screen and internet programming on a computer monitor simultaneously.

RBR-TVBR observation: It is not uncommon to hear about the imminent demise of an old medium – radio has heard it numerous times, and back in the 50s, television itself was seen as the slayer of theatrical movies. Most popular media are harder to bump off than it appears, however. But they do go away sometimes – we have never seen a town crier, for example. But we suspect the medium taking up the most space in the intensive care ward is newspaper, not broadcast.