Australia’s Network Ten’s official entry into voluntary administration yesterday didn’t come as a surprise to me, I have for many years argued that whether traditional Free To Air Tvs wants it or not, they will have to adapt to streaming or perish. The digital age challenges will wipe out most of the industries as we know them now in the next decade and Tv industry is one of them, then sports coverage, those not aware know what football broadcasting rights holders are grappling with declining audiences including SKY and BT in UK, advertising models have been revolutionised and the future of free-to-air television is on its deathbed as we all know, so Network Ten has just confirmed that. I do not in any way celebrate the temporary demise of the channel which has had some of Oz most appealing shows i watched as a tween and teen.Whether you live in Africa or America, it’s easier than ever to watch an episodes of a show anywhere or Live Tv and take my word, it’s glorious. Gone are the days when being at home on time for prime time or getting furious when an a friend spoils the big game for you, like in my case i used to go nuts whenever someone would interfere with F1 viewing.It is now common for me to can watch anything, at any time, in any place including Network Ten’s competitors Network Seven and Network Nine and it’s changed how I interact with myself for the better.Live streaming of TV and shows has made people more informed, and more social and as my mom used to tell me as a tween, TV is one of humanity’s most perfect mirrors.Back to Network Ten administration case, the fact is apart from its widely reported struggles in the last couple of years and their targeting the wrong audience, its woes is a confirmation that free to air tv model is unsustainable.With hundreds of networks today, how does channels like Network Ten ensure that its among those we choose to watch?In my case and many others, the answer is that it doesn’t convince us just like most Free To Air channels are. Between Network Seven, Network Nine and so many other streaming services available, I don’t have to choose because everything I could want to watch is so readily available online. Streaming services has simply put television in the palm of my hands and thats what Network Ten has over the years failed to adapt to by targeting the younger demographics who form the lowest percentage of Oz population. As someone with huge experience in streaming business, I can say with confidence that younger demographic are not money.
Unlike old age audiences, they are not loyal to a particular channel and i feel Network Ten may have realised that by now.In streaming business which i’m involved wit, I have witnessed television audiences splintering across a multitude of platforms from online streaming, social media sites, pay TV, websites, YouTube among others and this has seen TV ratings declining as a result. So, if your free to air like Network Ten, where do you fit in? Its tough and rough.In my work, i have seen how digital space has enhanced agencies to accurately track the number of views an advert receives and its levels of engagement and thats what Network Ten next plan need to factor.When I was young, programs in Free To Air channels like Network Ten used to pull a reasonable amount and would always reach targeted audience but the fact is, it would be impossible to reach those benchmarks these days.If Network Ten survives and starts looking at future audiences, they need to be aware that those aged below 18 years are after user-generated content which is being streamed online that is not through paid services, like Vimeo, YouTube and others.Most have downloaded apps that provide free Live Tv and shows with ad support.The way we experience TV has changed for the better but the experience has not. TV now brings people together on a global scale through streaming. People irrespective of their location tune into Live Tv, sports events, Tv shows among others as they share immediate impressions across the world thanks to on-demand and streaming services. Just like I was as a teenager, I do still love TV but how i used to consume it is different. In fact, it’s that love and demand that has transformed the television industry. For Network Ten, it need to understand that we are flicking to streaming services over regular Tv mostly because Free To Air channels just don’t get that streaming when we want is the present and future of television.One thing Network Ten should consider is that people don’t want to pay for multiple channels online because of them are trash but when you have super quality content like it offers, then people will watch the channel online. Streaming services are the future of television because of choices some of which are high quality programs, and they are convenient to watch them anywhere.Thats why I feel Network Ten should be on board, with 24-hour streaming apps. The bottom line is that Network Ten need to realise that people will pay for the television they want to watch.Watching TV in the palm of my hand is now as normal and ubiquitous and is now so hard to envision life without watching whats happening in Oz on Network Nine and Network Seven apps. The mass proliferation of media and entertainment options, fighting for consumer attention, let alone engaging them will kill many Free To Air channels not only in Australia but around the world.I do however believe that Network Ten will be around for some time albeit with a different model that not focuses on reality TV and sport programming but with streaming online because online video advertising is the fastest growing area.