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Who actually watches live TV when you can binge-watch the whole series of Killing Eve in one go?

PUBLISHED: 18:18 20 June 2019 | UPDATED: 18:24 20 June 2019

The BBC put the entire new series of Killing Eve on their iPlayer earlier this month so viewers could watch it all straight away rather than over several weeks

The BBC put the entire new series of Killing Eve on their iPlayer earlier this month so viewers could watch it all straight away rather than over several weeks

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Who actually watches live TV when you can binge-watch the whole series of Killing Eve in one go?

Our national television watching habits are morphing. Not dissimilar to our eating habits, we are a nation of bingers. This means the prognosis for linear television is pretty grim. Who actually watches live television nowadays? Aside from the news and sport, I've not watched linear TV for months! I much prefer to download or record content to consume at a time that suits my schedule.

This seismic change in the industry offers a splendid amount of opportunity for media-makers. Platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime have come to the fore with their array of international documentaries, dramas and films. Their extensive back-catalogue runs into thousands of hours. The downside, of course, is the monthly fee - £9, added to the various other platforms I subscribe to, makes for quite a bill!

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The recent fiery debate about the BBC TV licence merits wider discussion in light of the shifting media landscape. Do we really need such a broad remit for our national public service broadcaster when it's duplicating the private sector's offering? I'll spare you the high-brow debate…The real question is how we consume media, not what we are watching, reading or listening to.

The explosion of online entertainment is a tightening noose around the neck of conventional media. We are witnessing huge changes in the way the public engages and consumes media. In my sector radio listening is steady, but DAB platforms have unlocked greater variety, meaning the audience flicks around. Heritage stations, which once enjoyed whopping figures, now scrap over a thinly spread market! Newspapers value their online presence as much or more than the physical paper, and TV channels must economise as numbers dwindle.

So did video kill the radio star? No! Will TV-on-demand kill its linear counterpart? No! These changes can't deliver any fatal blow, but TV companies (including the BBC) should do more to step in line with the moving times. BritBox TV, the joint project between British broadcasters, is a step in the right direction.

With time shifted, binge and on-demand viewing increasingly the norm, traditional channels have reason to worry. I don't have the mental capability to watch a series over several weeks. As the plot thickens I find myself rewinding previous episodes to remind myself of what happened previously. I find it much more enjoyable to binge-watch and really get into a programme. In a busy world where we face an avalanche of media, I think this is the only way forward. The quicker heritage broadcasters adopt this form of delivery, the better. Slowly they are getting on 
side with this. The whole series of Killing Eve was available for download straight away. Its success, in part, is the fact the next episode can be instantly consumed. TV is splitting in two. At one end are highly-produced scripted drama and documentaries. At the other are sports and news. Streaming is making the idea of linear channels redundant. The notion that someone you don't know decides when you can watch something is redundant.

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