TV and radio struggles with the smartphone generation

How do you get your news? For the majority of people reading this, we very much doubt that it’ll be via a newspaper alone. Now people are getting their news updates instantly via smartphone, and the 16 to 34-year-old audience range is proving the most difficult for traditional news suppliers to attract. Likewise, big media organisations are having difficulties too.

At a recent BBC conference, the corporation’s chairman Sir David Clementi stated that…

This age group represents our biggest challenge. They watch less TV than older people and listen to less radio. They are the smartphone generation and their view of the world is shaped by social media. It is a generation with which we have to work hard to remain relevant.

Having thoughts and decisions altered and shaped by social media is something that I’ve spoken about before and there’s not a quick fix for it. People will believe what they choose to believe, based on sources they choose. They’ll also watch content from whatever platform supplies it.

Sir David, who was speaking at the “Voice Of The Listener And Viewer” spring conference said of younger viewers that…

This is the generation for whom the one thing they can’t afford to lose is their smartphone. Their whole life revolves around it.

Indeed, whether it’s streaming TV, listening to on-demand content such as podcasts and radio shows, catching up with social media or playing games and gaming with apps such as, the smartphone is king.

All of this has meant that the BBC and the traditional TV licence that funds it has become less important. The BBC revenue has fallen, and it’s also affecting commercial broadcasters too. People are skipping ad-laden live TV and going online, to subscription services instead. All of this, according to the BBC, means that “the volume and breadth of British content that British audiences rely upon is now under real threat”.

So, instead of watching a well-made drama or UK TV show, you could instead be stuck with home-made YouTube clips.