Imagine this: you have just sat down in front of the TV with your dinner, and you’re searching through Netflix, but you can’t seem to find anything you want to watch – and now, your food is cold.
Traditional media such as radio and TV used to be a regular part of most people’s lives, but now with the introduction of on-demand streaming services, Radio and TV are often a bygone thought of a forgotten era.
However, the recently finished Line of Duty has reintroduced many of the current media consumers to live television broadcasting – going against the grain of the binge consumption and the ‘I want it now’ attitudes that on demand streaming and modern media have created.
I argue that instead of spending your time looking for something to watch, it would be easier and less stressful being able to tune into a TV channel of your interest than choosing a specific show on a streaming service as it simplifies the process of consuming media into an almost thoughtless task. A task that was once the golden standard for many.
I spoke to avid F1 fan Joe McCormick about his opinion on TV: “In my opinion, on demand television is better than live television due to the wider range of programmes you can watch at any given time. If you want to watch a programme on Alibi, for instance, you are forced to watch whatever they are showing, or whatever is on the +1 channel. If that channel is holding a marathon for a show do not like, that’s tough luck.”
“The only reason why I watch live TV these days is for Formula One if I am totally honest. Although, I cannot say I watch much in the way of Netflix and other streaming platforms either, as the majority of the content I consume is from YouTube. The fact you can watch anything, and not be locked into whatever the network chooses to show is what makes on demand television more appealing for me.”
Line of Duty has given a rebirth to live television broadcasting, creating a large social media following up until its finale which garnered a mixed reception from diehard fans, supported by the likes of The Great British Bake Off, and the upcoming series of Love Island. Some may point to Game of Thrones and other similar shows to say the same – but they are not, and here is why.
Game of Thrones, and other popular shows like Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead are all on paid platforms within the live TV ecosystem, making them less accessible to the general public. A show such as Line of Duty drumming up so much commotion shows the public interest of easily accessible media, and quality TV (although, that is a conversation for another day).
There are however downsides to traditional media, being that you are confined to the schedule that is being played so if it happens to be something you don’t like, you will not want to tune in. That being said, there are usually hundreds of potential channels to choose from – so there’s no shortage of content to dig your teeth into, and there really is something for everyone. You are also confined to channel licenses, meaning that you only have access to the things that the channel has permission to air, which causes lots of issues for some groups such as sports fans who tend to have to use paid services like Sky and BT for their desired content. On demand content is also accessible to those who may not have the time to tune in live due to prior commitments.
Whether you prefer live TV or on-demand, I think we can all agree it helps us all destress – whether or not one is more stressful than another.