57 Channels (And Nothin’ On)

I’m not the worlds biggest Springsteen fan but this song is striking a cord with me more and more. We’ve got Freeview, Freesat and access to pretty much the whole Sky package yet I often can’t find anything worth watching. I rely more and more on “on demand” services like iPlayer and 4OD for things to watch. And even then I often feel left in the lurch by viewing material. So then it’s on to blu rays and dvd’s and Netflix, in the ever more desperate attempts to find something worth engaging with.

With the kids though, live TV is already becoming an anathema. Why should Fifi have to wait until 7.15am to watch Peppa Pig when she can watch it on 5 on Demand, or put a DVD in? At 3 years old she knows her way around Netflix on the PS3 and the iPad, so she watches what she wants when she wants (within reason of course, it’s not as if she sits there watching TV for 9 hours straight every day). The Boy is the same, if he doesn’t like Fifi’s choice of viewing material, he will watch something himself on whatever she isn’t using, or just go off and play.

I’m sure this is increasingly how our kids generation will watch content- unless it’s an actual live broadcast event, there seems little compelling reason to shackle yourself to a particular timeslot that’s convenient to advertisers but not necessarily to you.

I recently read that YouTube are spending $100m making original broadcast quality content for themselves, and if they’re the first, there will be many more following. The days of TV (commercial TV at the very least) as we know it are numbered and I for one am happy with this.