I was reading my Sunday LA Times yesterday morning while eating breakfast and an article caught my attention enough for me to read it. The article was in the Business section and entitled “TV networks try to connect with young, tech-savvy multitaskers.” I’ve read many similar articles to this in the past. It’s always about how network executives say that people like to watch their content differently nowadays. But, despite all of this, their actions are to the contrary, or at the very least, slow in implementation.
We are living in an increasingly fast paced world, where people need to be pleased now. There is no more patience, no more time for patience. I suffer from many of those same things, although I’m nowhere near as bad as that 10 year old kid who has the TV show he watches on live, while playing a video game and a youtube video all at once. No matter what anyone says, people are generally speaking terrible at multi-tasking. If they doing multiple things at once, then they are doing multiple things badly at once. Also, I a not a huge youtube junkie, and I do not at all enjoy watching videos on my phone or tablet. I have a freaking big screen television and 5.1 channel sound system. Why the heck would I want to watch on a tiny screen when I spent all that money for the bigger gear? Plus, when I watch my television content, I do not enjoy doing other things at the same time, such as Facebooking/Tweeting what I think in real time, or IM’ing someone, or texting someone, or talking to someone. I like to freaking watch my show. The whole 360 experience of show watching is not for me. Call me old school, but when I want to watch my show, I want to watch my show. When I go to the movie theaters, I have no desire to answer a call or a text in the middle of the theater while the movie is playing.
But, that being said, I do have some similarities to that kid and that generation (of which I was close to being part of!). Namely, I never watch television live. Outside of sports, which I am watching less and less of lately, I don’t remember the last time I watched a show live. About the only time my television is on something live is when I’m not really paying attention to it and so I should very well just save the electricity and turn it off. Whenever someone asks me what shows I watch then asks me when its on, I am sometimes able to tell them what channel its on, but almost never able to tell them what day/time it’s on. To me, that latter part is irrelevant, and I just don’t know. It’s on when I want it to be on.
Oh, and like these young “millennials” as the article calls 7 to 29 year olds, I skip commercials. I have been doing that long before DVR’s existed as I used to just time record shows on my VCR and then fast forward the commercials. Spare me the, if commercials were better, we would watch them, Thats a fantasy. It has nothing to do with that and everything to do with time. Even though I think it’s totally made up and fabricated, people nowadays just don’t have the time to do what they want. It’s why they “multi-task” and in this case for me, skip commercials. Did you know that for every hour of television, there are 20 minutes of commercials? How do I know? Because each “hour long” show lasts me about 40 minutes when I watch. You can guess what the other 20 minutes are. In an increasingly time scarce world, what makes network executives think that people are able to waste 33% of their time watching stupid commercials? I know I don’t. And I guarantee that they don’t have that much time to waste either, so why are they still trying to force that down our throats? Thank goodness for DVR’s.
I understand that they need some way to pay for their content. I get it. But, find a new way. That model is decades old. No one wants to watch your commercials. In fact, I’d be willing to say no one ever wanted to watch them, but they just had no other option to in the past. A commercial here or there is not too bad, but freaking 20 minutes of that crap for every hour of programming? Are you kidding me? Maybe if it were not for the sheer volume, people might be more willing to watch them. But, 33% is just not something that anyone would spare in this day and age.