Television's Future

Will TV remain the dominant mass medium?


Television is changing rapidly, and so is the TV audience. Viewers are ignoring broadcast schedules and watching programs via Internet “streams” and iPod downloads. Or they are “time-shifting” and skipping the commercials, using digital video recorders, such as TiVo, or video-on-demand television. Millions are also spending time watching user-generated video on sites such as YouTube. Many TV executives are wondering whether television can sustain its traditional approach to making money — “renting out” millions of viewers at a time to advertisers. For all the ferment, however, Americans are watching more television than ever, using the new devices not to avoid traditional TV but to catch up on shows they otherwise would have missed. There's an atmosphere of experimentation and uncertainty in the industry reminiscent of ...

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