I have to admit that the first paragraph in the article “The Web is Dead. Long Live the Internet” accurately describes a typical day for me (Anderson, 2010). I kick-start my daily routine by checking the weather and my email on my iPhone. While I eat breakfast, I usually scroll through Facebook and Twitter (again from my iPhone) and then head to my RSS feeder app, Feedly, to see what’s going on the world (occasionally I’ll turn on NBC for news or to have a bit of noise in the background). Throughout my day, I’ll take breaks to check these sites again to see if I’m missing out on anything (which I’m usually not). Once I’m home from work, I usually switch to my iPad and use the apps I’ve downloaded on to that device. I share these little facts because never once did I mention using my computer to check these sites. I used apps downloaded to my smart devices.
So many media organizations are making it easy and convenient for us [consumers] to access their information through an app. Lists can be created to keep related topics together to provide an easy to navigate app and alerts can be set. This makes the app personalized just for you. I created lists on my Twitter app so that if I want to see news articles I click on “News” or if I want to see what my friends have tweeted I click on “People I Know.” I follow a traffic report account that alerts me to accidents that may delay me from getting to work or back home on time. When I entered into this program I discovered that Blackboard had an app, and I immediately downloaded it to my smart devices. Through this app I receive alerts and updates that help me to stay current with assignments and postings. Thinking back to my earlier degrees, I am very thankful for this luxury and wonder how I ever got by without it. I also wonder if it may just be another distraction.
All of that being said, I still access these sites via a computer, but it seems almost as if these companies are encouraging us to leave our computers and head to our smart devices. Even reading the Wired article, I noticed an advertisement on the right side panel encouraging readers to subscribe to Wired on their tablet (see picture below). Upon clicking on the offer, the site says “It’s easier than ever to enjoy this groundbreaking monthly on your tablet. Plus, each issue includes exclusive interactive extras, including videos, slideshows and more.” What leaps out at you after reading the description is “more bang for your buck and you don’t even have to leave your house!”
I find all of this interesting, because I feel that companies like Netflix and Hulu are also spreading this same message: “access me from the comfort of anywhere whenever it’s convenient for you!” This past week, I found a rather timely article while reading through my Facebook feed that focuses on the television habits of Millennials called “Study: Most Millennials Don’t Watch TV on the TV” (Allen, 2013). The article states that for “Millennials aged 14 to 24, the bulk of entertainment is spent on laptops, smartphones, tablets and Internet-connected video gaming systems.” Their time spent watching TV on the TV is only 44%, where Millennials aged 25-30 spend 53% of their time watching TV on TV. I am a part of the older Millennial group and I admit that I spend most of my television time not watching it in real-time on television, but via Hulu or Netflix. Knowing that the show will be available streaming online later allows viewers to watch shows at their own pace and not be so tied down by television schedules. How is this hurting television and the shows we enjoy watching? Because more individuals are consuming television this way, it is good that measurement companies, like Nielson, are starting to include viewership via these mediums into their statistics. For media companies, Nielson adding these numbers is long overdue and these added numbers can only help with their future growth (Flint, 2013).
As I come to a close, I leave you with a few things to consider. Do you think all of this media convergence is helping or hurting the industry? Or is it making additional work for companies by not only providing information across their traditional platforms, but also having to create content for mobile apps or social networking platforms? How do you access your media?
Allen, F.V. (2014, March 28). Study: Most Millennials Don’t Watch TV on the TV | TIME. Time. Retrieved March 30, 2014, from http://time.com/42164/study-most-millennials-dont-watch-tv-on-the-tv/.
Anderson, C. & Wolff, M. (2010, August 17). The Web Is Dead. Long Live the Internet. Wired.com. Retrieved March 30, 2014, from http://www.wired.com/magazine/2010/08/ff_webrip/all/.
Flint, J. (2013, February 21). Nielsen changing the way it measures television consumption. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 30, 2014, from http://articles.latimes.com/2013/feb/21/entertainment/la-et-ct-nielsen-20130221.