Streaming killed the video star

Shauna Power

The move to online streaming platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and the use of social media apps, has had an astronomical effect on the amount of viewers abandoning traditional broadcast TV.

In 2017 the BBC trust released their end of charter review which found that although the BBC reached 91 per cent of 16-34 year olds in 2016,  overall, younger people’s consumption of media is changing 

According to the review, BBC television reached 66 per cent of young people in 2016, compared to 82 per cent of adults. 59 per cent of young people use BBC’s online services weekly but this doesn’t compensate for the falling broadcast reach.

It’s always been the case that young people have watched less TV than older adults, however viewing figures continue to decline. According to the trust, the average age of BBC One viewers was 61-years-old in 2016.

In Ireland, The National Broadcaster RTE are losing money. Earlier this year the broadcaster revealed a loss of €13 million in 2018. They blamed TV licence fee evasion however, it is hard to ignore the move of viewers from TV to online streaming which could be a cause of falling revenue.

UCD Veterinary nursing student Niamh O’Brien said: ‘‘The fact RTE is losing money is not surprising to me when there’s so many other platforms now such as Netflix’’.

 “Watching the toy show last week was the first time I’ve watched TV in a long time”, O’Brien continued.

“The lack of new content on TV is what makes me lean towards streaming services. It’s cheaper and more is on offer”.

In Ireland the TV licence Fee is €160. Netflix plans start at €7.99 per month meaning a monthly subscription for a year comes in at €95.88, significantly lower than the TV licence Fee.

Netflix has rapidly grown into one of the most used media streaming services worldwide with an annual revenue of about 15.8 billion according to Statista. The number of Netflix subscribers has seen a meteoric rise from less than 22 million in 2011 to nearly 160 million in 2019 and it is estimated that 37 per cent of the worlds internet users now use Netflix.

Netflix Originals have become the new fix for viewers with the site hosting over 1,000 original content titles in 2018. People no longer have to trek to the cinema, spending a lot of money in the process.

Viewers are craving new and fresh programmes, which Netflix offers along with a wide range of established programmes which have made their way onto the streaming service.

However there are still some people who prefer TV to streaming services. TUD student Yvonne Cullen said: “I watch reeling in the years every week on RTE. If it were to die out, I wouldn’t be able to cope.” 

Although the figures suggest that Broadcast still accounts for the majority of all viewing, the role traditional TV is playing in our lives is rapidly declining, especially amongst young people. People are craving originality, creativity and new content, which most streaming services are offering at a cheaper rate.

Shauna Power 

Image Credit: Piqsels