This Graph Explains Why Free-To-Air TV’s Days Are Numbered

CES 2016: In 2008, the total number of streaming hours worldwide was estimated at 0.1 billion. Today, it’s 42.5 billion. That’s an astronomical increase in just seven years — and its only going to keep growing. In another seven years, most free-to-air networks will be as good as dead.

Netflix’s CEO Reed Hastings showed off the impressive numbers at CES 2016. As you can see in the below slide, the growth of video streaming over the past decade has been astonishing.

Of course, a lot of this has to do with advancements in internet speeds and newly emerging markets. Be that as it may, there can be little doubt that this is the way most consumers prefer to get their entertainment. If you look at the VCR and PVR, it has arguably always been this way.

As Hastings explained: “what consumers have [always] wanted is to choose when to watch… On demand television. With the internet we can finally give people this and put consumers in the driver’s seat when it comes to when and where they want to watch.”

Personally, I think there’s still a place for scheduled programming — those “watercooler” moments have less impact when everyone is watching at different times. The “Red Wedding” from Game Of Thrones wouldn’t have had nearly as much impact if all the episodes had been released at the same time. Nevertheless, it seems that most people vastly prefer choice and binge watching to passive, serialised viewing. Let us know what you think in the comments.

The Cheapest NBN 50 Plans

Here are the cheapest plans available for Australia’s most popular NBN speed tier.

At Lifehacker, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.


14 responses to “This Graph Explains Why Free-To-Air TV’s Days Are Numbered”