A new video streaming service from Facebook has sparked conversation about the existence of television alongside social media.
The product, called Watch, will initially be available for US audiences through Facebook mobile, website and apps, but could grow to a global roll out.
It will see the company take a dip into the television market by expanding its video offerings with a range of new, targeted programming based on user-interaction history.
But TV on the internet has been “trending” for a while, Charles Sturt University communications course director Travis Holland said.
With hours of broadcast television watched in Australia down 4 per cent between 2010-15, according to a government report, it’s a case of people having the freedom to choose what they want to watch and when.
“The interesting thing is the internet is a convergent medium,” Dr Holland said.
“It draws in and then repackages all the other media formats.
“People are more and more moving to media platforms that give them what they want, when they want, and they want it sooner rather than waiting for broadcast schedules.”
With more and more people embracing small phone or tablet screens, Dr Holland said it’s not surprising to see a drop in the amount of people watching television.
“It’s the classic commons dilemma,” he said.
“Where all the individual consumers make choices that make sense for them but as a collective, those choices have big impact.
“We’re getting to a point where audiences can access anything.
“Even though the audience is constantly growing, it means the audience for individual items (like TVs) is smaller and you get a lot more niche and smaller products.”
We’re getting to a point where “audiences can access anything,” Dr Holland said, and create their own bigger profile from there.
“What we’re getting now is people are building up celebrity from their own fan bases,” he said.
“They are doing everything on their own instead of having to rely on traditional production companies buying their pitch.”