Considering the fact that I have entered the fandom of TV series’ only last year, this topic holds quite an importance in my head. Adding to it the fact that I watch at least three football leagues from Europe. I calculated that I watch about eight and a half hours of television a week to say the least. But all that is when I used to stay with my parents, before I had come to be a student living on my own and with a considerably low budget.
Just like the music industry, the television industry was shocked by the arrival of the internet and what it can provide. Cable TV companies (most of them) decided to counter the development and that led to many shutting down, and others trying not to down by adapting internet TV.
However, when we talk about this topic we are mainly considering the United States and perhaps the western world. I come from Asia and as a conservative estimate, I would say that there is at least 1 televesion in every family house and this number increases based on wealth. Television is the most important device in these nations as one would notice. At home we have two and every friend I have has their own TV for all the DVD/ Gaming time and the family TV that the family gathers to watch in the evenings everyday.
Perhaps many articles are saying that this is the time of the internet, I agree. But only in America and perhaps Europe. Because in the Arab world the TV industry is one of the biggest. In Ramadan (Muslim fasting month) of the year 2012 an Egyptian channel on the Nile Satelite made 300,000,000 Egyptian pounds which equals to aprox. 34 Million Euros (consider currency exchange).
For students, people suffering recession and those who don’t have time for TV, the internet would be a great solution because it would technically be free and they can watch it when they have the time. But, for those who are established, or simply have the time TV still exists in their lives.
Going back to the Asia/middle east example, it is important to mention that the internet is arrived there and Egypt and Saudi Arabia are one of the highest countries with Facebook users.
So, TV business is still making money from productions and advertising, just in a different place than the United States and as a live example, fox has opened offices in Asia and even started showing American sports such as the NFL, NBA and MLS; which never existed 10 years ago. Unlike music, TV suffered a lot only in America and not as much in the developing nations.
The likes of Netflix and Hulu are a revolution and solve many issues such as watching productions legally for relatively cheap prices. But they are still only existing in the American/ Western domain and yet to open world wide. This is giving time to the TV manufacturers and producers to innovate and find a solution. I mean why would Samsun produce a 4K Curved TV for 1500 USD if no one is going to buy it?
This also relates to the cinema industry, and I personally believe that Cinema does not have to do much or learn much from the downfall of the music industry because (although making losses) good movies are still making a lot such as the likes of “The Avengers” which made1.5 Billion Dollars. This shows that a good production will make people want to have the experience of going to the cinema to watch it, and unlike music concerts that are pricey, good films cost 15 dollars (more or less) and even cheaper in the developing world, which gives the urge to a lot more people to go an watch a good movie. Isn’t it better for all of us to only have better movies, anyway?
However, I will be watching “Game of Thrones” on my macbook because I am a student and I would rather spend my money on travelling rather than on a 300 Euro screen.
It is a matter of choice.
Written By: Almustafa M. Khalid