Legacy Media: Increasingly Irrelevant To Millennials & Tech Savvy

We continue to see legacy media do a great job to position themselves for irrelevance. Two recent examples to support this trend we’ve been documenting over the past several years follow as today’s quick post.

1. Millennials are ditching TV to view content on other devices

This of course isn’t a surprise, as we’ve shared many stories over the years that broadcast cable TV on TV is essentially over. It’s basically the same as making a landline call: your grandparents still do this but no one else does. Equally as unnecessary as still paying for an AOL subscription (believe it or not, some people still do this). As re/code shares:

A new study from Deloitte finds that teens and young twentysomethings spend more time watching movies and television shows on their computers, smartphones and tablets than they do on their TV screens.

“The idea that TV is only watched on a TV isn’t true anymore,” said Gerald Belson, vice chairman of the firm’s U.S. media and entertainment practice.

You have to laugh a bit at the quote from Belson as if this is some sort of revelation. It could be pulled straight out of 2008. None of these trends are at all new and were called many years ago, the data shows the death of cable, but I suppose it’s good to see even the laggards catching up. Here’s another visualization of the shift via a recent study, note of course the younger generation are the ones to reject TV on TV (in favor of timeshifting and alternative content sources, such as content created by themselves and their peers):

Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 4.08.18 PM

2. Millennials aren’t going to movies

MPAA numbers showed showed that the number of young moviegoers in 2013 plummeted severely:

The number of frequent moviegoers in the all-important 18-24 age group plunged an unprecedented 21% in 2013, according to MPAA annual statistics released Tuesday at Cinemacon, while attendance in the 12-17 age bracket also saw a precipitous drop off, falling almost 15%.

Frequent filmgoers from 12-24 are likely spending much of their previous moviegoing time watching a variety of other screens.

Can you blame these kids? Who wants to be price-gouged to watch movies at a movie theater of undetermined cleanliness when you can enjoy it on your home screen at a more reasonable cost in significantly greater comfort. There are so many content choices, so many things you could do with your time and ultimately no reason to have to see anything right now. I think not only young people, but anyone who is tech savvy realizes this. Not to mention it is not actually a better experience to go to a movie anymore.

So where are the media companies with solutions for a multi-screen, timeshifted world? Oh right. That’s being accomplished via technology companies and generally being fought by the media companies themselves (witnessed by antiquated distribution models like forcing you to arbitrarily sit in a theater to watch a film instead of being able to pay & view for it in your home which should be an option at release).

That’s because there’s generally two modes companies operate on: innovate and create new, amazing things consumers want or protect the way things have been done because it’s easier and that’s how they are profitable. It’s been clear (much of) the mainstream music and media industries operate in the protection business. They don’t care about what their users want. They care about how they can protect the old way of doing things and legacy profits.

The Oatmeal perfectly sums up how not just the young demographic, but anyone technology savvy is motivated to consume content:

Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 4.30.23 PM

With the price of a high quality and size screen totally within the reach of everyone, content doesn’t just need to go direct to users on their own devices, it has to for these businesses to survive. The good news is that I think the industry is finally starting to come around (even if we’ll continue to be at a pointlessly annoying crossroads for the foreseeable future). I’m excited by the efforts of companies like Netflix and others who are going direct to consumer and allowing users to enjoy content on their own terms, on the devices they choose.

As millennials continue to gain spending power I think we’ll see a more urgent push for change in how things are done. As a note, I group tech savvy with millennials purposefully in this post’s title, as I believe there are those across demographics demanding a new model, and fluency in tech is the commonality.