Honey, Where Is the TV Set?


We used to plan our homes around where the TV set was positioned.  It defined the layout of the family room or living room, where back in the day families would gather to watch programming delivered by one of the major broadcast networks. 

Streaming has changed everything – the living room, how we experience content, and when and where we watch.

Seth Resler, who works in media as Digital Dot Connector with Jacobs Media Strategies, ditched his box for several years, prompted by companies like Netflix and Hulu luring new audiences with really quality programming.  “I think you’re starting to see their profiles rise as they get more and more into original programming, and award-winning original programming. I mean you’re starting to see some really good content.”  This, he says, doesn’t require a television set.  “I was watching on a laptop, or on a tablet, or even on a projector.”  There is a definite demographic pull in this transition, younger people changing their habits at a faster rate than older folks, but the biggest changes, Resler says, are in the business models.

The game, up to now, has been distribution of programming content, and whether that was delivered through a cable or was broadcast through the air, it required a receiver. “If you financial model, your revenue model, is built around the distribution, and that requires people to go through a very specific type of distribution, this is disrupting that,” he says. We want to watch what we want where we want when we want.  The internet is the distributer, now.

That disruption is playing itself out in living rooms across America, where furniture is being rearranged to face something other than a television set. The U.S. Energy Information Administration reports the average number of TV’s per household has dropped from 2.6 in 2009 to 2.3 in 2015.


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