Has the internet changed TV forever? header image

Published: 5th May 2015

More and more people are using the internet to watch their favourite TV programmes.

Whether it's BBC iPlayer or Netflix, we are increasingly viewing the latest hit shows online rather than through a TV itself. 

Now, a telecoms expert has suggested that the use of the internet, and particularly mobile devices, to watch TV has changed the industry forever.

Ismail Patel, a TV analyst for global research firm Ovum, told Cable.co.uk TV is already "barely recognisable" from the days when people's viewing was confided to their TV set alone. 

He highlighted the millennial generation - people born between the late 1980s and early 2000s - as being a key factor in this transformation.

"[Millenials] do not know a world without smartphones and the internet, and do not afford an arbitrary priority to the big screen in the corner of the room over the tablet or smartphone device in their hands," Mr Patel stated.

"It is the behaviour of these millennials that will eventually become the mainstream,” he added.

The expert said that as millennials grow older and develop greater spending power, it will become increasingly important for broadcasters and online TV providers to cater to their needs.

A prime example of the popularity of online TV is BBC iPlayer. The streaming service received an average of 57 million viewing requests per week in March.

According to a new survey from Freeview, 52 per cent of Brits would describe themselves as being addicted to TV. Some 16 per cent of people said they often watch a new show due to fear of missing out, while 25 per cent do so because it's being talked about in the media.