Does TV stop violence and what’s your prediction for 2020?

Penelope Keith  says that young people bash up old people because families don’t  sit round watching sit coms together in the way that they used to.  Really she did say that.. in an interview reported in the Daily Mail : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2061599/Penelope-Keith-blasts-youth-cult-TV.html.

In Keith’s heyday people had to watch what was on the TV whether they liked it or not, because there was very little choice of viewing and little else to do, particularly on a Sunday evening.    The days of watching something because it’s the only thing on the TV that’s decent have gone forever.  (Although frankly in those days teenagers weren’t watching the telly with their families either.  They were listening to music in their bedroom (on something called a record player) or possibly roaming the streets on the look-out for elderly victims.)

A major piece of research by MTM London on behalf of Red Bee explores actual trends in media consumption patterns.  I was on a panel last week exploring the main findings (http://www.redbeemedia.com/insights/tomorrow-calling).  One of the key issues pulled out of the study by Red Bee’s creative director Andy Bryant was that the consumer is more demanding than ever, and set to become even more demanding in future.  TV viewers are frustrated by their inability to find what they want to watch easily, and say that they want more control over a personalised TV schedule.  “Couldn’t TV be more like i-tunes ? “ asked one of the respondents of the research.

Despite the claimed frustration highlighted in the report it is the continued strength and power of scheduled TV and the new importance of live TV event viewing exactly at a time when there is so much else to do that is remarkable.  As fellow panellist Neil Mortensen of Thinkbox said TV’s continued ability to re-invent itself is amazing.  New developments like Channel 4’s deal with Zeebox around Desperate Scousewives offer new commercial opportunities for advertisers (http://www.mediaweek.co.uk/news/1103944/C4-partners-social-app-zeebox-reality-show//).  Sky IQ is set to revolutionise targeting mechanisms and potential return on investment.  (http://skyiq.com/)

The audience at the Red Bee event were asked to vote on a series of predictions for 2020.  These included whether on demand would account for 40% of all viewing time; whether more primary sets would have Google or Apple rather than YouView and whether more than half the UK will “like” programmes on a weekly basis.  See the podcast for the full results at the website above but its fair to say that the audience were split.  These are interesting questions. 

The recurring question about the future of TV viewing is when we will be able to get a proper audience measurement for the increasingly diversified viewing behaviour.  By 2020 do you think ?

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