Why smart TVs and streaming services won’t divide your family

How much time are you going to spend watching TV this weekend? In the US, that could vary wildly from one person to the next, depending on the season and the state of things…

Why smart TVs and streaming services won’t divide your family

How much time are you going to spend watching TV this weekend? In the US, that could vary wildly from one person to the next, depending on the season and the state of things in the real world.

Streaming – with Netflix and Amazon Prime the big contenders – is often the more recent, and therefore the most expensive, option. If it is at a gym or on a roof, chances are you’ll be on hold to an operator looking for a pop-up ad or two. It may be saturated, so only two shows are on at the same time. Getting on the train or bus to work means you’ll have to check the schedule. If you don’t own a TV, chances are you can’t see the schedules because they are on BBC iPlayer or it just isn’t an option. We thought about something more contentious – showing an afternoon slot during daytime. As though there is any point doing that.

It isn’t completely up to the individual. Many families will be stuck sharing a DVD or a streaming player with other members of the family. Obviously they will choose whatever they feel comfortable watching, but they may not all have the same tastes. A whole family has different preferences for what goes on in their own living room. As is often the case, friends will share that space. Maybe you bump into them over dinner, watching House of Cards. Maybe they’re at home, pouring their evening drink, Netflix and Iron Fist. This feeds into this different landscape, but doesn’t lead to massively different hours on screen each day.

TV is such a people activity that there are many take-home opinions. But my view is that it will be very similar to how it was before the web came along, with different parts of the house watching different things at different times.

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