Anyone with years of warm Super Bowl Sunday memories where friends, family and loved ones all gathered around a humble television set to watch enjoy the big game together may have noticed a few subtle changes this year. The TV that has been the focal point of the living room for over 50 years is now struggling to hold our attention in a world full of distraction.
Our concentration is often far away from the football game as we spend more time sharing our joy or frustration to followers on Twitter or documenting the perfect party on Snapchat or Instagram. That's before you even think about the ubiquitous selfie or re-watching the best commercials on YouTube.
Market research from the Adobe Digital Index (ADI) even went as far as to suggest that this has the potential to be the tipping point for the ad industry. It is believed that one in three consumers now watch live sports on a device other than a traditional television while millennials and the cord cutting kids known as Generation Z all struggle to see the relevance of TV in their digital world.
Feeling a part of something is no longer isolated to everyone in the same room as you, but it's becoming more about sharing your thoughts or insights of any significant event with the global community in real time on a second screen. However, these latest trends are much bigger than television and are revealing every aspect of how we consume video content is rapidly evolving.
Sure, we all know how a rapidly growing number of people are questioning expensive 300 channel cable subscriptions when a Netflix subscription for a handful of dollars a month provides them with more than enough content. But, the real change is the likes of Facebook, Snapchat, and YouTube all battling for our attention that is proving to be the real game changer.
Snapchat users now watch 7 billion videos every day and is gaining ground on the social network behemoth Facebook. This further illustrates how it's not only the way in which we view content that is changing but what we want to view is also evolving too.
Traditional media has become incredibly contrived with overly produced or biased shows so it shouldn't be too much of a surprise that the antidote to this world of fakery is watching content by genuine people that their audience can relate to. YouTube stars now have more viewers than top rated TV shows; PewDiePie for example now has 42 million subscribers online, and it's not usual for a single video to reach one billion views.
The complete lack of authenticity has led to people creating their own video content to offer users all around the world an opportunity to see the world through somebody else's eyes. Equally, these new role models are easy to relate to and often wear their heart on their sleeve as they experience the same issues as their viewers. Still traditional media continues to ask the question, Why are YouTube stars so popular?
TV might still be living off its former glories, but make no mistake the next generation of digital entertainment is well underway. There is a very noticeable shift in attitudes where more and more are questioning the relevance of spending over a hundred dollars a month for channels they do not watch and when they do they are filled with advertisements or contrived content that just does not fit with our personal ideals or world view.
The days of watching a prime time show and discussing it over the water cooler the following day are rapidly disappearing. We will choose what we want to watch and when we want in an ad-free utopia. We will discuss and even direct major plot points on our second screen while watching the show rather than waiting until tomorrow as viewership becomes both multiscreen and interactive.
As for our role models, we have officially turned our back on diva attitudes and would much sooner lookup to someone like ourselves with an authentic and relatable voice as long as they don't sell their soul for a sponsorship deal of course.
Ultimately, our televisions are increasingly becoming a dumping ground for advertisements and contrived content. Although new technology is often a disrupter, it often enables both users and businesses to replace the old way of doing things with a more improved and efficient service. The change in how we consume any form of video content can be felt by everyone, and once again we turn to the Hard Trends that will shape our future to see what is next on the horizon.
What are your predictions for the future of both television and all forms of video content? I would love to hear if you have witnessed a noticeable change to your Super Bowl Sunday over the years. Please share your insights by commenting below.