April 13, 2018


With the onset of on-demand videos, everyone thought that days of Live TV was becoming a thing of the past. However, the fate of the latter seems more like that of the old reliable brick-and-mortar in the retail industry, which despite the seamless growth of eCommerce is not going anywhere, compelling the eCommerce giants like Amazon to revolutionise its business model and augment it with physical stores such as theirAmazon Go.


Similar attempts from corporations like Hulu, Amazon, and Pluto TV are clarifying that Live TV is not going to become outdated in the near future.

A Lesson in UX

Most of the trend analysts have assumed that the market growth of streaming videos will have an inversely proportional effect on that of cable TV’s linear format. In the beginning, it appeared to be so; the burgeoning popularity of Netflix had almost ended the tyranny of Cable TVs. However, most analysts were in for a huge lesson in User Experience- indecisiveness.

In a recent report published by Tech Hive, author Jared Newman mentioned his findings through a discussion with Ben Smith, Hulu’s senior vice president of experience. He stated that the subscribers at present are spending 54% of their time on Hulu by watching on-demand videos that mean still almost half of the time spent is that on Live TV. Though live events like sports and news contribute to a large chunk of that time, other channels like entertainment and movies, too, are in a flourishing position.


It was this set of findings that have led Hulu to finally release a grid-based TV guide with its $40/month channel bundle this spring. Here’s what Smith told Newman about his study on the consumer behavior that initiated the addition of the feature:

 “The one [part of linear TV schedule] that we’ve found particularly engaging for people are movies,” Smith said. “It’s a behavior on the service where we’ve seen people have a very simple request: ‘I just want to watch a movie.’ And this is where the guide really helps.

Following suit, Amazon too has added a live TV guide on Fire TV devices that will provide users with the details of the premium channels it shows to its Prime subscribers.

It is a noteworthy point that both the service providers have separate and personalised sections for movies, filtered through the analytics of their behavior and preferences. Still, consumers sometimes prefer escaping from the algorithmic world.

The change of heart is understandable too. At present, we are almost completely surrounded by these algorithmic results, our social media feeds and all the search engine results are categorised with preferential information. In such a situation there is some definite comfort in having a limited set of choices, created randomly by some other human sans any filter of personalisation. The reason here could be the past habits that have, for quite a long while, dictated our choices, or else it could be the simplistic human indecisiveness at play.




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