Sorry. My bad. I used the word apocalypse in the headline because, 1) it’s more attractive than the word nonsense, 2) fragmentation seems like the wrong word to use even though it accurately describes what is going on in television these days.
That means there are more choices for what we roughly and loosely define as television than ever before. More than a few decades ago I went to college and worked in America. That meant plenty of local TV. No. That’s wrong.
It was not plenty of local TV. It was more like four and a half channels for OTA in the dorms, and 22 channels for cable TV. There just wasn’t much TV back in the days– when compared to choices today.
TV has changed. Today, Americans have cable TV choices plenty. Channels that number into the hundreds. Online there are too many choices to number. A few million YouTube channels. Plus, a growing number of streaming TV choices from Netflix at one end of the scale to Apple’s upcoming Apple TV+ at the other end.
Before you kill cable TV and cut the cord, check out all the streaming choices for the channels and networks you want to watch, then add them up to see what the monthly price will be.
Netflix, Hulu, YouTube TV, Apple TV+, Amazon Prime, Sony Playstation, Sling TV fuboTV, CBS, Philo, HBO, AT&T, and the list goes on and grows.
Do the math. You could end up paying about the same each month as you pay cable TV already.
We spend time traveling and visiting family in the states and one trend we noticed that helps to keep the number of TV choices is how people cope with fragmentation.
Subscribe to Netflix while certain TV shows you want to watch are available; binge watch, discontinue the subscription. I just bought a new iPhone so Apple TV+ comes free for a year, but you can bet there will be more binge watching toward the end of the subscription than the beginning.
Television’s apocalypse should be obvious. Too many channels, too many networks, too many streaming services, and too many options.
Fragmentation is the new order of the day and Wi-Fi 6 and 5G will not change that but only make it worse because streaming will become ubiquitous. How will all those television streaming services stay in business?
Maybe it’s an apocalypse for them.