It’s tough to predict exactly how we’ll be watching TV in 10 years. But one thing is for sure, according to Bernstein Research: it’s likely to be far less lucrative for big media companies.

While television networks face a host of pressures like a slump in live viewership, lukewarm offerings at best, and a weak upfront advertising sales environment, TV services aren’t going away anytime soon. But they are going to look “very different” a decade from now according to Bernstein media analyst Todd Juenger. As the digital world of mobile & web continue to be the platforms that get all the buzz and the most promising growth, the majority of advertising dollars are still going to traditional television media. TV ad revenue should rule the roost in North America into 2017. By 2018 however, TV’s share of ad revenue will fall to 40pc whilst digital’s domain will have grown to 35pc,” writes co-author Leika Kawasaki of Strategy Analytics. Print will be the “major casualty” followed by radio.

Mr. Juenger pointed to streaming video on-demand services, notably Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video as successful examples of what a TV “network” may look like in an increasingly on-demand world (aside from sports and news, which are still largely watched live). And often for a fraction of the price of what a typical cable TV package starts at.

Netflix and its competitors don’t have a linear schedule. Not to mention all that content is consolidated in one place with user-friendly search options and recommendations, and it’s accessible on a range of devices with no advertising. It’s a simpler process for consumers than accessing 100 different apps from individual channels to find a favourite single program or series.
Anyway you slice up that American media pie, mobile/web channels will be the dominant taste sensation for audiences in the decade to come with ad revenue tripling by 2020. Now those are stats no company can ignore any longer.

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