Television: The World's Most Effective Mass Communicator
In the modern day of cell phones and the Internet and the vast expanse of mobile information technologies available to us, some believe the old telly is still the greatest form of communication in the world. The Economist, in a special report, did an analysis of the effect of the television on American culture. They interviewed multiple professionals, including CEO's of media conglomerates.
"When it comes to mobilising a mass audience, nothing can touch television. On February 7th this year 106m Americans watched the New Orleans Saints defeat the more favoured Indianapolis Colts in the Super Bowl. The nation spent more time glued to that one match than it spent on YouTube, the most popular video-streaming website, during the entire month, according to ComScore. Remarkably, television can deliver these huge audiences even though it provides more choice than ever...
The box that delivers all this stuff has evolved, too. Televisions used to be squat cubes. Gradually they have flattened and turned into panels, and their screens have become sharper and brighter. They have spread to bedrooms, kitchens and even bathrooms (with heated screens to ward off condensation). The latest devices from Samsung and Sony are as thin as laptop computers. Television has gone online and become mobile. This year it will expand into the third dimension.
Predictions of TV’s imminent demise have come and gone like fast-forwarded advertising breaks. In 1990 George Gilder, an American writer, claimed that by the end of the 20th century traditional television would be extinct because technology would enable consumers to track down programmes that catered to their particular interests. Bass fishermen would watch endless shows about bass fishing. Even the technological futurists found it hard to imagine the explosion of websites, social networking and mobile phones that was to come. Yet these things have not displaced television. Rather, they have squeezed around it."
So for all those who thought that the old style of TV was dead, think again. Arguably, the television industry is adapting more rapidly than any other communications technology. We'll still be watching TV in one form or another for a good long time, it seems.