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2013: How Technology Has Changed How People Are Watching TV

by Soft2share.com

The way we watch TV has undergone a slow but steady evolution ever since its introduction to mainstream America in the 1950s.In the early days of television families would gather around the set at a specific time to catch their favorite shows, creating a collective communal group of households all tuned in to the same popular programs across the nation. By the mid 1980s the VCR had already begun to change this ritual. Programs could be recorded to be watched at one’s leisure, allowing people the freedom to watch what they wanted when they wanted.

Now, almost twenty years later, the freedom to watch whatever you want wherever you want to watch has been fully realized. The advent of DVRs (digital video recorders) such as TiVo and those that come with cable boxes allow people to record multiple programs and easily store, organize, and watch them whenever they want. Digital technology has even created an entirely new way to watch TV programs: online. Digital video can be streamed via the internet to our phones, TVs, cable units, and many other internet and video ready devices.


But how are people watching their favorite TV programs mostly? What is the most popular method for keeping up with the drama of Game of Thrones or the entertaining reality of Duck Dynasty? Obviously the majority of people watching these shows are likely waving and American Flag in their front yard, but, the majority of people around the world also take advantage of new technologies to catch up on these American favorites.

We hear so much about streaming video content over the web that many people believe that is the most popular way of keeping up with TV even if they themselves don’t watch most or even any of their television programs that way. Recent research from Nielsen shows that the majority of television viewers are still watching their favorite programs in the traditional way, in front of the TV set at the appointed time.

However when you break these numbers down, it shows that the 65 plus demographic brings the average up considerably. When you divide viewers into groups by age, it comes as no surprise that the trend toward online watching and streaming is driven by younger audiences, with the 18-35 year old demographic watching about ten percent of all their television online. That still means that 90 percent of their TV time is in front of a traditional TV set.

The online options for TV watching are many with Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube topping the list with the most watched hours of content. Netflix is the clear winner for streamed content with the average user clocking ten hours a month watching movies and TV. If you subscribe to premium cable channels you also have the option of streaming your favorite programs right on HBO’s website, allowing you to watch while traveling, on the go, or wherever is convenient on a computer or mobile device.

The vast majority of people use cable subscriptions despite the popularity of online alternatives. The variety and diversity of programs is usually better with cable; movies, sporting events, broadcast TV, dramas, comedy, and more is all in one convenient place. We might supplement our viewing with online and streaming options, but we still like the convenience and ease of multiple channels for every viewing member of the family.


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