We’ll keep turning on the box 

19 January 2010 tbs.pm/1121

As it’s announced that BBC iPlayer has had over 100 million requests, and the Corporation adds more and more ways to catch up on missed TV (some of which I must declare an involvement in), you’d be forgiven if you thought that traditional TV was on the way out. And quickly too.

However a report from Deloitte reckons the old TV schedules have far from had their day.

A key part of their argument is that people are misinterpreting the user figures for online video services like BBC iPlayer, 4od and YouTube, and that the methodologies used online are not directly comparable to TV audience figures.

This is undoubtedly true and happens for every platform. Even the figures for radio and TV are difficult to compare because of the different methodologies used to collect them – a diary based system for radio based on time periods, and a little box and a remote from for TV which allows measuring of programmes.

Radio naturally also provides our useful comparison point. It was said that television would kill radio. It did not and radio remains a major media industry across the world to this day. The introduction of television changed radio consumption – this cannot be denied. However it has yet to replace its older cousin.

It’s likely that video on demand services will end up doing something similar. Mass take up of online video is already changing behaviour of the population. Some traditional TV channels may close, or become on demand only propositions. However it seems unlikely that it will replace the scheduled linear broadcast completely – merely that the linear schedule will fight for its survival and will change and adapt.

And if you doubt that, ask yourself a question… does anyone really want to watch Strictly Come Dancing or The X-Factor on Sunday morning or Wednesday afternoon, if they can watch them on a Saturday night? Like Deloitte, I’m not writing off linear television just yet.

A Transdiffusion Presentation

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