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Televisionitstrends,consumption,challengesandfuture
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TelevisionhasmadeasignificantimpactintheeverydaylivesofAustralianssinceits
firstTVbroadcastin1956.Eversince,televisionhasbecomeincreasinglyaccessibleand
pervasivethroughouttheyears.TVnews,particularly,hasbecomesoreadilyavailableto
viewersnowincomparisonwithpreviousgenerations.TVtrendsinJanuary2015
(Mediaweek2015)gatheredthatAustraliansspendapproximately40%oftheirtime
watchingtelevisionincomparisontospendingonly25%oftheirtimeonlineand6%
readingnewspapers.Thisenablesustomakeafairassumptionthatpeopleconsumemost
oftheirnewsviatelevisionthanothermediatypes.Ithascometothepointnowthatthere
arenewschannelsdedicatedtoreportthenewsaroundtheclocksincedigitalchannels
havebeenintroduced(andnottomentionsubscriptionbasedservicessuchasFoxtel).

VariouschannelshavearangeofprogramstheyusetodelivernewssuchasChannel9
andtheirprogramssuchasChannel9News,ACurrentAffairand60Minutes.Other
variationsofnewsprogramsincludeChannel10sTheProjectthattrytoengagethe
youngadultaudiencebyincorporatingstoriesthatarentnecessarilyconsideredquality
newsorstoriesthatwouldnotbeshownonthemainnewschannel(ChannelTen
EyewitnessNews,Channel9News,etc.).Itcanalsobepresentedinaninvestigative
journalismstyle,wherethereportersfocusonaparticularissueofpublicinterest,
trackingdownandinterviewingthoseinvolved(asseeninChannel9sACurrentAffair
orABCsFourCorners).Therearemanydifferentnewsprogramsshownatdifferent
timesofthedayduetotheaudienceoftodayeagertocontinuallyconsumemedia.Ona
particularweek(week10,2015)(Mediaweek2015),thetop20mostviewedprogramsfor

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theweekcomprisedof8showsthatwasnewsrelatedmaking40%ofthemostviewed
programsonTVbeingnewsprograms.

Televisionitselfhasevolvedenormouslysinceitsfirstlaunchin1956.Oneofthemost
importantaspectsoftelevisionisitspotentialroleandinfluenceonAustralians.
AccordingtoStevenBarnettinTheRiseandFallofTelevision(Barnett2011),TVnews
hasthepowertoinformandtoeducateonthemostpressingglobalissuesoftheday;it
hasthepowertoinfluenceandtochangepeoplesminds;itisubiquitous,heavilyused
andcommandsasenseofcredibilitythatappliestonoothermediumofcommunication.
AtthetimetheVietnamWarwastelevised,thepowerandreachofTVwasrealised.At
first,AustralianswereverysupportiveoftheirinvolvementintheVietnamWar.
However,whentheimagesofwarweretelevised,theimpactwasphenomenal.Hundred
ofthousandsofpeopletooktothestreetstoprotestagainstconscription,toprotestagainst
Australiasinvolvementinthewarandtoprotestagainstthetragedyanddeath.At
present,TVnewsisoftenquitesuccessfulandinfluentialininstillingfearinthepublic.
Thereisusuallyanabundanceofcriminal,tragic,horrificandsadstoriesinthenews
bulletin.DemonstrateknowledgeofthedifferentwaysTVnewsispresentedtothe
audience.

However,evenwiththisinmind,timesarechangingandithasbecomeapparentthatthe
newsthatisbroadcastedontelevisiontodayisoftensubjectedtosensationalism,
inaccuracy,partialityandoverstatement(Beecher2005).TVnetworkshavebecome
increasinglyobsessedwithviewratingsandfocusingtheirenergyonwhatkindofstories
willdrawinthebiggestratingsandaudiencesinsteadoffocusingonwhattheaudience

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needstoknowratherthanwant.Thisresultsinthatmediausersarenowconsideredmore
ascustomersratherthancitizens.

Asaresultofthetelevisionnetworkbecomingincreasinglyfixatedonitsratings,itno
longerupholdstheoriginalvaluesofquality,reliability,transparencyandobjectivityit
oncedidinthepast.Havingtocompetewithsocialmediaanotheraffordableway
audiencesareabletoconsumemediaand,morerecently,streamingvideoondemand
(SVOD),freetoairtelevisionmusttearthroughthesechallengesandthusareforcedto
providecontenttoaudienceswhichtheycannotattainanywhereelse.Originally,
televisionwasfacedwithcompetitionwithnewspapersandtheradio.
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Televisionnewsdonotseemtofaceachallengesuchthatnewspapersareexperiencing.
Thedeclineofnewspapersarestronglylinkedtothegrowingavailabilityofothermedia
includingtelevision.SinceitwasfirstlaunchedinAustralia,TVwasseenasamajor
competitortonewspapersbecauseofitsconvenienceandaffordability.Afindingin2011
(TelevisionSetsInAustralianHouseholds2011:CurrentStockandConsumer
ExpectationsaboutReplacingTelevisionSets2012)showsthatthereareabout18.7
millionworkingtelevisionsetsinAustralianhouseholdsthisisanaverageof2.2in
eachhome.Often,thenumberoftelevisionsetsisrelatedtothenumberofpeopleina
particularhousehold.Almost50%ofAustralianshavepurchasedanewTVsetinthelast
twoyears(Blue2015)whichleavetelevisionstooutnumberpeopleinmanyhouseholds
inAustralia.Duetotheaccessibilityoftelevisionthatmakesitveryeasyforaudiencesto
consumetheirmediaforfreewithjustapressofabutton,itisnosurprisethattelevision

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doesnotfacethesamechallengesincomparisontotheprintedmedia(newspapersand
magazines).

Notonlydotelevisionnetworksfixateonitsviewsandratings,commercialTVisalsoa
businessitselfanditfocusesondeliveringadvertisementstoviewers.Televisionwas
oncefacewithadvertisingcompetitionswiththeradioandnewspapers,andnowitisthe
digitaloptions(suchassmartphones,onlinemediaanddirectmarking)thatareits
competitors.AccordingtotheCommercialEconomicAdvisoryServiceReport2014
(Merrett2014),Onlinemediareceivedapproximately34%ofthetotaladspendingin
2014(wasonce18.5%in2010)whichwasatotalof$4.39billion(with$629millionin
mobilesads).In2013,onlinemediasurpassedtelevisionintermsofadvertising.In2014,
commercialtelevisionreceivedabout27%oftotaladspendingwhichwasadecrease
from37.5%in2010.Thisleavesnewspaperswithonly17%oftotaladspendingmoney,
asubstantialdecreasefrom37.5%in2010.Asaresult,newspapersarenolongerin2nd
placebehindcommercialtelevisionbutarenow3rdasof2012.

Theaudienceofmediaoftodayareadaptingnewwaysofconsumingmedia,onethat
includemultitaskingondifferentmediaplatforms.Forexample,apersoncouldbe
watchingsomethingontelevisionwhile,atthesametime,beonasocialnetworkingsite
suchasTwittertocommentateontheirviewingsorreadotherpeoplesthoughtsonthe
TVshow.Socialmediamultitaskingisparticularlycommonintheyoungergenerationof
todayduetowebsitessuchasFacebookandTwitter.ThisisoneofthechallengesTVare
facingastheylearntoincorporatesocialmediaontelevisionwhileknowingthatthe
audienceismultitaskingonothermediaplatforms.Duetothis,morerecently,TVshows

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suchasMyKitchenRules,TheBlockandevennewsprogramssuchasTheProjector
Channel9NewsareencouragingaudiencestotweetabouttheirshowsonTwitterby
usingaparticularhashtagortoaspecificTwitteraccount.ManyTVshowsalsourge
audiencestofollowthemonsitessuchasTwitter,likethemonFacebook,subscribeto
theirYouTubechannelandmostchannelstodayevenhavetheirownwebsitewhich
allowviewerstostreampreviousepisodesoftheirfavouriteTVshows.Thesewebsites
suchasTenPlaypreventaudiencesfromgravitatingtopiracyorstreamingshowson
streamingwebsitessuchasfreetvvideoonline.me.IfTVweretochoosetoisolateitself
fromsocialnetworkingsitesaltogether,theresultscouldbedetrimentaltoitsfuture.
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Pseudolivetelevisioneventsplayahugeroleinmaintainingtelevisionviewersaswell
ashowtelevisionnetworkscompetewithoneanother.Itisawaytheindustryisableto
drawtheaudienceintoswitchingtheTVontowatchasitisonlyexclusivetothenetwork
andisliveinawaythatitisonlyairedfirstonTVthisshowsincludebutarenot
limitedto:TheBlock,TheBachelor,MyKitchenRules,Masterchef,etc.Themajorityof
thesepseudoliveshowsareAustralian.Thispreventspiracyandonlinestreamingprior
toitsscreeningontelevision.RealityTVshowsplaysuchasignificantroleinthe
industrythataccordingtoTVtrendsinJanuary2015(Mediaweek2015),theTVratings
forweek10,2015forthetop20programswatchedinthatweek,thetop4spotswentto
MyKitchenRules.Again,thisisduetothefactthataudienceswerenotabletosimply
downloaditorstreamitonlinebeforetheactualscreening,thuswereforcedtoturnonthe
televisionattheparticulargiventimeinordertowatchthepseudoliveTVevent.

AslongasthesuccessoftheAustraliantelevisionnetworkgoes,therewillalwaysbe
challengestofaceastechnologycontinuestoevolve.Oncenewspaperswerea

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competitionandnowitsnewcompetitorsarethesocialnetworkingplatforms.However,
bycombiningforceswithsocialnetworkingsites,thefutureoftelevisionisseentobea
verysuccessfulone.
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DORIS NGUYEN (696344)

References
Barnett, Steven. 2011. The Rise And Fall Of Television Journalism. London: Bloomsbury
Academic.
Beecher, Eric. 2005. Do Not Disturb: Is The Media Failing Australia?. Melbourne: Black
Inc. Agenda.
Blue, Canstar. 2015. 'Televisions Outnumber People In Many
Households'. Canstarblue.Com.Au. http://www.canstarblue.com.au/mediareleases/televisions-outnumber-people/.
Cokley, John. 2013. 'Journalism At The Speed Of Bytes: Australian Newspapers In The
21St Century'.Digital Journalism 1 (2): 287-289.
doi:10.1080/21670811.2012.744562.
Mediaweek,. 2015. 'Mediaweek'. http://mediaweek.com.au/.
Merrett, Rebecca. 2014. 'Digital Advertising Dominates In First Half Of 2014:
Report'. Cmo.Com.Au. http://www.cmo.com.au/article/556129/digital-advertisingworth-2-3bn-australia-during-first-half-2014-report/.
Television Sets In Australian Households 2011: Current Stock And Consumer
Expectations About Replacing Television Sets. 2012. Canberra: Australian
Communications and Media Authority.