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instant-on is the killer TV feature

That’s the central problem plaguing both set top boxes like Roku and Apple TV and content services like Netflix and Amazon Instant Video. Instead of letting you lean back and soak up content, these new challengers require decisions–a careful cost-benefit analysis of thousands of different options. If the traditional TV experience is about letting viewers surf channels, today’s on-demand video is like giving them a speedboat and forcing them choose a destination before they can even get in the water.

From the article “To Grow, Netflix Must Learn From the Quietly Brilliant UI of Regular TVs”, in wired

Well hear hear. This is exactly what Is missing in the creating of the future of TV. From the services currently in the market to the reasoning that goes on in pitch material, and pitches, that I’ve been involved in with regards to positioning TV content providers of today, when developing for tomorrow.

Don’t just stare at new technology and heaps of content at your finger tips. Look at the tired people whose brains stop functioning as their ass lands softly in the couch. The key feature? Bzzz – TV is on and streaming. Streaming something. One more bzzz and there’s something new.

The instant on, under a second, is something “new” TV (content, and the delivery of it) doesn’t manage. This is also why personal, pre-loaded, schedules are important. Not just because you can create your own channels based on favorite content, but because something has to start streaming as you enter couch mode. Human behaviour, not just technology.

generalizing based on the few non-TV watchers

This infographic from a Nielsen Cross Platform report shows how easily some breaking stats, such as some people streaming a lot of content and watching very little TV, can be taken for a general truth just because the over-all feeling of a digital tsunami is over us. I’m referring to the TV is dead claims, often taken for a truth. But yet again, statistics show us that that isn’t the case. Americans watch more TV than before.

However, there are consumption changes to keep an eye on (well, if it interests you…). The heaviest consumers used to be so across all platforms, but a subset amongst 18-34 indicates that (some) top consumers of streaming content under index in TV viewing. Fairly expected though as internet content catches up in quality and supply. See report.

I keep wondering how damn much content and watching we can take and have time for.