Smart TV – not so smart?

Your latest Netflix addiction, your favourite YouTuber or a quick Google Search; a compilation of functions you would expect to be doing on your computer.

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Taking the relatively ‘old’ technology format of a TV and combining it with the ‘new’ Internet, results in not only a technological- but also in a media convergence. Broadcast media in the shadow of the new media; live TV meets on-demand options, an innovation that may not hold exclusively positive implications.

This is outlined in Ofcom’s – the independent communications UK regulator – Annual Public Service Broadcasting report 2015. Ofcom (2015) notes that on-demand competitors such as Netflix and Amazon Prime are linked to a decrease in Live TV viewership amongst the younger generation. Conclusively, this has a financial impact on the broadcaster and the production sector respectively. A decrease in Live TV which goes hand in hand with a profit increase for tech giants as well as emerging online services. Additionally, an enhanced consumer experience is being created but at the risk of excluding older generations based on technological innovations occurring at high pace.

Convergence is certainly a debate which will increasingly attract more attention. As it holds positive as well as negative implications, a balance must – theoretically – be found to outweigh negative extremes and therefore business models have to adopt.

Check out this The Guardian article in which the CEO of a media company talks about opportunities of media convergence.

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1 Comment

  1. ‘Excluding older generations’ (see Smart TV- not so smart?) is not a risk, I dare claim, but an already occurred and dynamically spreading process. It can be partially argued that this has happened due to constant developments in media and communication technologies, which are not widely spread among older generations.

    However, I would like to introduce a different set of arguments, supporting this statement. They will propose that the ‘alienation’ of older generations, based on the level of technological awareness, may be a consequence of their negative views on social media and lack of media and computer literacy younger generations are experienced in (Kellner, 2002, cited in Allan, 2013).

    The ‘generational gap’ (Allan, 2013, p129) is a complex issue to define and understand. One way media theorists have examined it is through differentiated views on the advantages and usage of social media. While young people might consider social media as a platform to express their rebellion against social injustice, older generations are more inclined to define social media as a ‘tool for spreading chaos and crime.’ This can be justified by younger generations’ desire to be more socially active, which is well served by the services of social media.

    Kellner (2010) discusses the matter of media literacy as an important factor when it comes to understanding this differentiation. In his view, it can all be explained by examining the profound quantity of media platforms younger generations are exposed to daily. This requires them to posses a certain amount of media and computer literacy, terms he defines as the ability to use computer technologies, the Internet and other online services effectively in order to fulfil one’s self as a citizen within the social system. By lacking such knowledge and literacy, older generations are unable to understand other media preferences. This is when a conflict occurs.

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