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There’s a lot of talk about consumers cutting cable TV and using a digital TV antenna and streaming services to access entertainment. But streaming isn’t the only competitor causing losses of subscribers at cable providers. Entertainment is undergoing a revolutionary shift, and many of the companies that want a piece of the future aren’t telecom companies at all.
As the big media empires race to own the future of streaming video with over-the-top services, technology companies are betting on Mobile Video as a distribution method for video content.
It’s no secret that companies like Disney and Fox own all of the traditional forms of entertainment. As far as viewers, though, the younger generations are changing the channel. The “cord-nevers” as they’re known in the industry, never had a subscription to begin. So they’re not cord-cutters in the traditional sense. They just get their entertainment elsewhere.
Only 5% of young adults in the US mainly watch TV with a digital antenna, while 30% report that they primarily use cable or satellite providers. In contrast, about 60%, the vast majority, watch television via streaming services.
Young adults are following a rapidly growing segment of entertainment known as Mobile Video. Shot vertically, these short videos last less than ten minutes and engage viewers with taps and swipe navigation. These “quick bites” aren’t intended to replace television programming, but are a form of engaging viewers with a brand.
Snapchat has roughly a dozen original scripted series like Vanwatch, and Class of Lies and docuseries like Good Luck America. Instagram features vertical video on the standalone app IGTV like LaurDIY\’s newest project or the comedy of King Bach. Roku hosts Quick Bites with shorts like Tasty 101, Chickenwatch, Tech Support from Wired, 100 Years of Fashion from Glamour, and more. Twitch and YouTube are built around user-generated content, with tons of original shorts and huge audiences.
Cutting the cord is a much broader revolution in the entertainment industry, with new forms of content that appeal to younger viewers. It’s not just that people are getting rid of their cable or satellite subscriptions, they’re accessing programs on smaller devices that don’t follow the traditional rules of television programming.
Megan Southard is a writer, mom, technology enthusiast, and movie junkie. She dreads the day her kids have to explain gadgets to her and is old enough to say, "I was the remote for our TV growing up."
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