Cultural Shift? Old TV’S swapped out for new ones – why now?

An interesting article From Rapid TV addressing a report from Quixel Research out of the UK came to light today. “Jumbo-sized TV thirst adds wind to LCD and plasma sales.”

Now typically this would not catch my attention, but in this case it did due to a couple of points made in the body of the article.

“Low cost plasma screens now are starting to challenge LCD/HD screens and sales are growing. ”

Why? Plasma screens are much less expensive than the HD/LCD. TVphile’s have always driven the category with new and best, at the expense of the ‘normal’ middle to low income household who holds on to the tv’s for a decade…at least. However, now big screens have dropped in price below probably what the box set that’s sitting in their living room cost them a decade ago.

New distribution options and content offerings can be sighted as one of the causes too for this. When a viewer can watch what they want, when they want it and on screens that are similar, if not better, than what their neighbors have! Just how much better can it get!

Social and cultural normality too…the old staying up with the jones… looking for a justifiable reason to make a change and incur the expense. Social competition is just the reason.

The growth of this particular CE/TV category interestingly demonstrates that people are adjusting their behavior of hanging on to old TV’s (for what used to be 10 year avg) and going for bigger/better.

The article by Michelle Clancy goes on to quote:

“Many households are starting to replace their first flat-screen TV and now have options that are dramatically different,” said Tamaryn Pratt, an analyst at Quixel. “In some cases, consumers can buy a TV almost 20 inches larger at a third of the price. That fall-off “gives consumers plenty of incentive to size up,” Pratt said. For instance, during the 2012 holiday season, name-brand 60-inch TV prices fell below $700 and on average were $1,000. In 2005, a 42-inch flat screen cost more than $3,000. Meanwhile, the bigger-than-60-inch segment is proving to be a sweet spot for plasma TVs. The 60+ inch plasma segment grew nearly 70% in unit sales in 2012 compared to 2011. Revenues increased 53% in 2012 to a total of almost $800 million for the year. There is no question that the plasma TV category is challenged by the LCD/LED category, said Pratt, but the reality is that the plasma TV category is still very much alive and staying in the game with well-priced 60-inch and 50-inch 1080p models.”

If this shift proves out, it’s potentially a big deal. Prices become affordable, content availability increases. Add in connectivity and I believe we’re tipping if not just tipped. New televisions have now become very affordable to the middle market.

Now this is a big market that can drive accelerated change!

Just a data point.

TV Series NuViewing – Engaging The Wants of Real Viewers

This weekend on Saturday in the NYTimes a very interesting article ran on how much audiences enjoyed a full session viewing of a new television series in a theatre. How the audience was engaged and gave the screening a standing ovation at the end of the screening that ran from 9am to 5pm with occasional breaks for obvious reasons.

Yes,  TV viewing is in the process of changing…considerably.

Now referred to as “binge” viewing, it’s what used to be screener marathons for us that are members of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences who receive the Emmy nominated dvd’s :-) . Viewing these screeners so we can make comments makes sense and is actually very comfortable. In fact, it’s addictive. You rarely want to stop watching a well made (story/production values) TV series when you start the first installment that’s just perhaps 42 minutes long, it’s easy to go to segment two, then three, and so on.

Trust me on many long flights I’ve watched whole programs – i.e. Kevin Costner’s Hatfield & McCoys, I honestly don’t think I would have watched the whole series if I didn’t have the time and the whole series available to me. But that said, I was able to get into the program and voted for it. It ended up winning an Emmy. I’m sure not because of my one vote, but I would have to believe many others in the academy possibly did the same thing.

In some ways it’s just like not putting down a good book…or what used to be like not putting down a good book.

So is it really new? Not really. What it is though is allowing viewers to have available a good story, when they’d like it and as much as they’d like. This has been going on in other industries for ever, just not in the TV industry.

Bottom line: we now have available to us these new TV viewer habits that we can capitalize on with compelling story telling and new revenue opportunities through box office receipts/TV subscriptions/payTV and especially advertising….it’s tremendous!

After all capitalizing on shifting behavior is what makes the merry-go-round, go round.

All good.