Is Social Media Pushing TV to its Grave?

Television is dying,” Jay Leno…

How is social media affecting the old, traditional yet long-loved media channel: the television? Is social media slowly pushing television to its grave? How is social media able to encourage less television viewing and promote more Internet usage simultaneously?

Personally Speaking…


Television dead?

Allow me to begin this post by presenting you with a short personal experience of mine which will, in turn, help you realize how I thought about this topic and where my ideas are coming from in addition to where they are headed!

I have been a mildly heavy Internet user for the past two years or so. A year ago, my interests in reading, writing and going out started changing: I started spending more time on Facebook and less time for going out and seeing friends. Since March 2009, I think I became an “Internet addict”, replacing most outings and TV time with Internet use, especially social media related sites and channels! I can recall that the last time I actually sat down and watched anything on TV was late March of this year!

With this little story in mind, let’s take a deeper look on how social media is discretely replacing the role of our beloved television!

Movies, Series, Music, News, Ads & More…

Why do people watch television? Well, that’s an extremely simple question that can be followed with these equally simple answers:

  • To watch movies or series.
  • To watch shows (social, cooking, educational, funny and so on).
  • To listen to music.
  • To follow up with the latest news.

If you take a minute to think about it, you would realize that social media provides you with the aforementioned benefits in addition to the added-value of being able to meet, connect and interact with like-minded people while doing so. Here’s how:

  1. Digg, Reddit, Twine, Mix & others: Provide their users with a wide range of stories, news articles, medical advice, funny clips, creative websites, helpful tools and so on while having the option of adding friends, sharing stories and discussing issues with them.
  2. Twitter, Facebook pages & blogs: Take Twitter for example, whether you are following up with world news on CNN’s Twitter accounts – like cnnbrk - or tech news on Mashable or Techcrunch’s Twitter accounts, Twitter also offers you a chance to interact, share information, promote ideas, links and posts as well as build work and personal relationships.
  3. Youtube, Vimoe and other video sharing services: Not only can you use these channels to watch clips, series and listen to music, they are superior platforms to your average television in that they provide you with an option to rate clips, share ideas and meet new people as well.

Apart from these benefits, social media provides marketers with a relatively “cheap” and more effective way of promoting their products and services to a larger more diversified target audience. Furthermore, Internet advertising has the following advantages over television advertising:

  • Internet advertising is more targeted.
  • Internet advertising enables good conversion tracking.
  • Internet advertising has lower entry-level fees.
  • Internet advertising has greater range (geographically).

Did you ever notice how almost all well-planned marketing campaigns have social media channels as a primary component? Let’s take Oreo’s campaign for example, they were unable to depend solely on television and felt the need to utilize social media for a comprehensive campaign with a wider target audience.

But it doesn’t end there!

Social media is not the only factor responsible for this phenomenon, the Internet as a whole and computers in specific are bringing the death of the television business closer and closer! In addition to that, new inventions such as Tivo and Slingbox are also players in this conspiracy against television!

Moreover, and if you look closely to Internet ad revenues in the first quarter of 2009 – as opposed to TV ad revenue, you are able to clearly see how seriously marketers are taking the Internet as a media channel when it comes to advertising.

Will it be missed?

Just like print media has suffered from the Internet and its social media platforms, do you agree with me that television is suffering as well? Do you think there will ever come a day when our houses will be television-free? Do you think there still is a real need for television these days?

I would love to hear your thoughts below. :)

Comments and Reactions

  • Jim Crabb

    The last tv show I remember you mentioning in a tweet was the 'Reaper'…I remember because your a somewhat a brillant person…and I thought; “The Reaper?”…. Anyway I think tv and the internet will/and are intertwining. My brother actually hooks his computer up to a big flat tv and picks the movies and shows he wants his kids to watch. Newer computers are coming out with tv tuners and alot of networks are streaming shows after the first airing…althought many still insert the commercials (and that's what pays for the opportunity to watch something for free). Me I am low tech…I have a mirror just to the left of my monitor and watch tv (backwards) and have a wireless headset. I'm finding that I can watch a lot of the tv I like later on the computer when I want to and even be doing other things on the computer at the same time. I'm an artist and do all my work now on the computer so there is a lot of back and forth. Hope that makes some sense…really like the pictures you find for your articles and writings…always seem so right.

  • Beiruta

    You're right: “tv and internet will/and are intertwining”.

    Thank you for your feedback!

    I always enjoy your comments! I love the flow of your ideas and how you make your replies in form of short stories that place me in your shoes!

  • Watch Movies Online

    That's why I kind of like Mercy – although their characters could use a little more depth and the script (at least for the pilot) is very two-dimensional.


    I disagree I think it makes watching tv more popular. I watch satellite tv from my pc so I can be online at the social communities and watch tv at the same time.

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