The Future of Television


Rachel Chou, Opinions Editor

As a college student lacking the funds to afford cable TV, I probably spend on average 8.3 percent of my day watching Netflix from an account I share with my cousin. It feels like forever ago when I would rush home after middle school to catch the next episode of “Gossip Girl” (don’t judge me).

Things have come a long way since then. Netflix is a site where you have access to hours upon hours of shows and movies. As of October 2015, Netflix has nearly 70 million subscribers in over 50 countries. Hulu, Amazon Prime, and HBO NOW are comparable sites that stream TV and movies online. And YouTube is dominating the video scene as one of the leading online video platforms, with trillions of views and over one billion users worldwide. We are entering a new age of TV that is changing the way we view media, and in the future it will continue to evolve.

In 30 years, cable boxes will become a distant memory. We will laugh when the topic is brought up during dinner parties. Our kids won’t know what a cable box is and won’t be able to comprehend the concept of long commercial breaks. The TV will stick around, but it will become slimmer and larger than ever before. Everyone will own a Smart TV that will provide access to the Internet and sites that stream online media. Internet TV means that the recommendation engine will cater to your needs. Your Smart TV will know exactly what you want to watch because of personalization technology that will monitor users’ watch history. Commercials will become more targeted, based on the sites that you frequently visit and products you’ve viewed in your search history. This is good news for advertisers, because they will be able to reach a more relevant audience.

The downside of this propositioned future of Internet television is the diminishing appreciation of the “television experience.” I think that aside from my fixation with Chace Crawford, I appreciated watching “Gossip Girl” even more because of the long commercial breaks and the week-long wait for the release of the next episode. There’s an old saying, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” Generation Y has become conditioned to instant gratification, and modern advancements such as Internet television have accommodated for this. 

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