In recent times we’ve been lucky enough to witness the evolution of certain technologies first hand, more so than in any other age. The speed of technological advancement is growing exponentially, yet now it often takes longer to understand how we can properly utilise tech, than it does to invent it.
Hidden behind the excitement of these continuous advancements there are a few problems. Problems that stem from a misunderstanding of user perceptions and behaviours. Streaming services offer a prime example of this.
Over the last few years we’ve gone from consuming heavily scheduled content from major broadcasters, to having access to more content than we know what to do with. People can spend up to an hour selecting what to watch, and that’s just on one service. If like me you have multiple streaming services it can all become a bit too much. Plus, it’s not just the content that provides a choice, after carefully choosing a program which device do you watch it on?
People talk about Netflix, Amazon Prime and Now TV replacing scheduled broadcast television, but more and more people are returning to the safety of broadcast TV to remove the pressure associated with all the choice. Sometimes less can be more. Barry Schwartz made this point clear in The Paradox of Choice, “Choice has made us not freer but more paralysed, not happier but more dissatisfied”. As the novelty of unlimited freedom wears off and people begin cancelling their accounts, what will these services do?
One solution would be to create personalised channels based on the user’s viewing habits. With this kind of data already being used for recommendations, it would simply be repurposing the information. By removing the pressure of choice and giving the user a stream of interesting and relevant content, you could create a bespoke TV experience, something that TV broadcasters have dreamt about for years.
Personally, I cant wait for these services to catch up with technology. We’ll have to wait and see what the next big advancement will be…