The Changing Viewing Preference

Is it good or bad?


The introduction of streaming content on the internet has brought changes to the way people watch content on screens.

Many consumers find it more convenient to watch their favorite shows on computer screens, smartphones, tablets, or other streaming devices such as the Sony Blue Ray Disc DVD which is different from the conventional use of televisions which we formerly relied on to view videos, play games, etc. in the past. Now, it seems, the TVs are not that important anymore.

A crucial factor that has encouraged the adoption of streaming devices in these times is convenience and portability. Now we can catch up with our favorite TV shows, movies, or news from any location and at any time during the day or at night. All that is needed is a gadget and internet connection.

The Growing Trend of Binge-Watching Content Online

LCD Flat PanelsA majority of the consumers prefer to use their mobile devices to stream content search for entertainment online. We are not surprised about the rise in binge-watching among the users of these devices. Binge-watching shows and movies have been a frequent activity in the past, but then you had to purchase the DVDs and create enough time to be in your home to have an uninterrupted show.

It was not a very popular trend until the introduction of streaming services. Today binge-watching can be easily done without relying on the schedule of the television networks. And you can watch your favorite shows without the interruption of commercials; this is an advantage that makes the viewers choose streaming services over cable TV.

This new trend has compelled commercial TV networks to make a creative modification to the content which includes commercials. Currently, a majority of the commercial TV networks are transitioning from syndicated programming to serialized programming which includes the use of more cliffhangers to keep the viewers engaged, but there are still speculations about the effectiveness of this strategy. To some extent, it has been successful, but we don’t know how long these strategies can be sustained.


The popularity of Short Videos

The online engagement of the audience with media content has also evolved. Currently, there is a preference to watch short video clips rather than reading texts about news or entertainment.

There are thousands of these videos currently online; they are commonly used to attract the audience to articles by featuring brief headlines which state the content of the videos to guide the audience. These videos are popular on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter where written articles are promoted with short video clips.


Compromising suspense

Gone are the days when we all waited for an entire week to in-between the episodes of our favorite TV series. It was thrilling to anticipate the events in the next episodes guessing and speculating, but now, the whole season is available on streaming services and the probability that it will be leaked online is high.

Everyone starts talking about it and you won’t feel interested in watching the episode when it is finally shown a week later on the TV networks. This action also compromises the creativity of the producers, who use feedback from the public to enhance their content to make it more engaging and interesting.


Quality vs. Quantity

Now, the availability of mobile streaming devices has made the availability of shows for binge-watching to have more quality than quantity. A standard series has about twenty or more episodes, and in some cases, a storyline that is rather senseless.

The current original TV series on streaming services now feature fewer episodes. This has enhanced the engagement of writers who can create compelling stories that have better storylines than for just ten or fifteen episodes which will be appreciated by the audience. While this might not work for all TV shows, we can at least confirm that the shorter TV shows are more engaging and thrilling to watch.

At this time, it is evident that the consumer’s behavior of the audience regarding viewing content has changed. The attraction to television networks has reduced thus affecting businesses such as marketing agencies and media outlets. It is essential that TV networks develop new ways to engage and satisfy the audience.


Final thoughts

Is it really that difficult to create new ways to engage and satisfy the audience?  No, I don’t believe that. I was amazed at the successful promotion done for the movie “Deadpool.” It was considered to be a low-budget film, but its promotion included the use of traditional billboards on the streets and engaging in several social media platforms. If a group with limited resources was able to think outside the box, why is this difficult for groups with better resources?  And this strategy of thinking outside the box can be applied to promote TV shows like the TV show that has an app that lets you experience the story from multiple perspectives.

Regarding streaming services, we now have access to better content right in the comfort of our homes. We also have the power to decide what we want to watch, and when we want to watch the content. This is a trend that has influenced the attitude of the audience towards the traditional models used to broadcast media content.

The changing viewing preference brought both positives and negatives effects for both sides of the spectrum. As viewers, we have more power in choosing what we watch. So far streaming services have been a blessing for the viewers but for how long will this continue?

Television Networks like ABC and Film Studios like Disney are getting into the streaming game and streaming services like Amazon aspire to get into the Film Studio’s game. If this continues, will we be able to afford a variety of good original content in the future? Feel free to leave your comments. I would love to hear from you.



Hi There! I am Sci-Fi Fan who wishes to share the love for Sci-Fi. Whether you know about Sci-Fi or not, on SFM&TV you will find interesting material to explore. I'll be happy to share with you what I know and to learn from you as well.

12 thoughts on “The Changing Viewing Preference”
  1. I agree that it’s really strange that we all can consume TV at such insane rates. It’s the human urge for instant gratification. Because of that, these streaming-only shows can be designed with this in mind, doing less suspenseful stuff or even perhaps less thought-provoking stuff. I’m always happy when a show is created without thinking about how it will be consumed.

    1. Hi Penelope,

      Great point! It would be ideal for creators to make shows without thinking about how they will be consumed but rather focusing on the content and the audience to focus on.

  2. An interesting article. As a professional marketer for over 20 years I have certainly seen the marketing landscape change dramatically. Its no surprise to me that people are switching to streaming now that its technically feasible – who wants to have their show interrupted every few minutes with advertising? I think that advertisers are going to have to adapt or die in this new era – I definitely see expensive TV advertising as a thing of the past in the not too distant future. I guess that’s why so many marketing agencies are improving their social media activities. Interesting times!

    1. Mi Margaret,

      I agree with you.
      Change is here and you either have to be innovative or your business will eventually disappear.
      And yes, these are very interesting times.
      Thank you so much for sharing your views!

  3. Hi Dira
    Thanks for writing your article and for your insights into the changes in distribution in the film industry. I am a film studies teacher and my students have to study the aspects of distribution and exhibition of film as part of their A’ Level courses. I think that you are right in that the changes in technology that have occurred in the last 10–15 years have caused an explosion of different ways that films can now be enjoyed and I only really see this increasing. Websites such as YouTube have allowed many more film-makers to get their work to different audiences and the demographics of cinema-goers is changing.
    There are a couple of points to note however with these changing times that may not be so beneficial I think:
    The first is the availability of 18+ rated films to younger people which I think is going to be a growing problem as the distribution and exhibition outlets increase. This could lead to younger children being exposed to unsuitable or inappropriate material at early ages which, as a parent, we might want to try to control more.
    The second is the decline in the social aspect of film and the experience that audiences gain from going to the cinema as opposed to watching the film on a small (sometimes tiny) screen – the difference in the experience is massive. That is why there is the development of 4D experiences which I think will increase as distributors compete to get audiences into a more and more realistic experience of the film.
    Anyway, just some thoughts – what do you think?

    1. Hi Gail,

      It is true that today availability of 18+ rated films to teens and kids. With kids it is terrifying. A few years ago the parental policing on the internet works. Today they can get internet access everywhere exposing them to a lot. The fact that they have access to a smartphone at a young age is also scary. Instead of going outside and play. You see young kids on their phone.The changes have been so fast that we still are not recovered yet and be able to respond. What we usually wait to tell kids at around 12 to 13 years old, today we have to tell them at a younger age.
      There are some advantages and disadvantages to watching films at home. It is true that you miss seeing people you don’t know but you can also have a social gathering at home. On the other side, I do agree that watching certain films in the theater gives a better watching experience.

  4. Totally agree. Sometimes it is amazing that having access to so much platform and so much varied programming, you have the feeling that there is nothing to see. We hope that this trend decreases as the public becomes more demanding with the contents.

    1. Hi Selena,

      Don’t lose hope! There is already some great original TV shows and films available with great content.
      Most of the times they are overlooked because of the propaganda for other shows/films. I know because it happened to me. I completely overlooked interesting series such as Dark,Happy and Black Mirror last year. The beauty of it is that they are still available to watch.

  5. Hi Dira,

    Thank you for this very interesting article on the changing viewing preferences of the masses.

    Personally, I think it is a great thing as TV has come to insult us all with too many adverts – this is an abusive of anyones time!

    The repeats! The repeats every xmas and actually every week. I no longer watcher TV as I got sick and tired of all the adverts – I did not feel like I was receiving good value for my TV license anymore.

    Interestingly enough, if you have any device in Ireland that has the ‘capacity’ to view TV online they want to ‘TV LICNESE’ those devices. As far as anyone of those taxing crooks are concerned – I no longer own a TV or laptop.

    After writing all day on My Own Website I go online and watch what ever I want with no ads or maybe just one ad per movie. I am done with TV and I hope it dies out as it is just an attempt to shove useless ads down our throats 247.



    1. Hi Philip,

      Wow! You are taking it to the extreme there. While I am not a fan of ads I understand why they are needed. The structure of promotion and sustainability of TV shows needs restructuring. Why need so many sponsors when you can take a group of 3 companies to finance to show for example.
      And in today’s world there are many channels available, so what I do is just switch channels. When I’m watching a very interesting new show and it goes to commercial I switch it to one with a show I have seen before or something of less importance than what I’m watching.

      It’s sad what is happening in Ireland as you mentioned that any device in Ireland that has the ‘capacity’ to view TV online they want to ‘TV LICENSE. those devices meaning that you have to pay when you use them? WTH! You already pay for the internet service and the streaming services that allow you to watch content on a device that you own. The issue of the license should be handled with the companies that created the streaming services directly, and have the money to pay for it, not with the public that is using their services.

      I cant’ imagine not having a laptop, more specifically in my case a notebook, that I used to write down my ideas and look for information online. At home, I don’t have the (old style) computer. I use my notebook with an additional small flatscreen. It takes less space. Can’t imagine having a TV either. I connect my notebook to my flat tv sometimes but usually, I’m watching youtube from my Blu Ray.
      I am definitely not as strong as you.

      Thanks for taking some time to read my article 🙂

  6. Yes, it definitely has changed and it’s conflicting really. For me, I love that I am able to see my series and movies whenever I want. But Like you said it is very difficult to avoid spoilers for popular series. I started looking for good series that are not as popular and the experience is just different.

    1. Hi Jane,

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
      I understand what you mean. What good series have you found?

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