1 big thing: The battle for the future of TV

1 big thing: The battle for the future of TV


The race to own the future of TV is intensifying, with mobile and streaming video companies looking to build or expand video services that will launch by next year, Axios' Sara Fischer reports.
  • Why it matters: Billions of dollars are at stake for whichever company can win the attention of younger generations, who are abandoning traditional TV in droves.
  • The scramble is so urgent that five new initiatives were announced yesterday within hours of each other:
By the numbers: Over 60% of young adults in the U.S. say the primary way they watch television now is via streaming services on the internet, according to a Pew Research Center survey.
  • Only 31% say they mostly watch via a cable or satellite subscription.
Be smart: Traditional TV is not being replaced by one medium, but by a combination of video services across the internet, most of which can be separated into two buckets: mobile video and subscription video on demand (SVOD).
  • Mobile video is typically shot vertically and tends to be shorter in length (usually between two to 10 minutes), and engages viewers actively, though methods like tap or swipe scene navigation.
  • Subscription video is filmed horizontally and is meant to be consumed passively on bigger screen sizes (like TVs or tablets). It's typically longer than just a few minutes, usually somewhere around 25 minutes per episode.
Quibi (short for "quick bites") was revealed yesterday at Vanity Fair's New Establishment Summit as the name of the highly-anticipated mobile video startup by Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman.
  • AT&T announced yesterday that it will launch a new direct-to-consumer streaming service in late 2019, based around HBO programming.
The takeaway: None of these companies that are looking to own the future of television are TV networks, and only a few are telecom companies. Technology companies are mostly the ones looking to upend the traditional TV landscape.

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