It was half a decade ago that I proclaimed, as I am wont to do, that millennials were ruining everything. I cited a story which claimed that by 2025 there would be no pay-television left and that millennials would have killed it.
Like most of my predictions, it ended up being wrong. Although to be fair, there are still five years left and if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we can’t know the future.
Why would I have thought that?
In 2015, we were still really reckoning with the sociological changes brought on by the millennial generation. In 2015, the oldest millennial was 35. The youngest was 20. Millennials’ impact on society had been blunted by the recession of 2009-2012, but by that point things had settled back in. Millennials had their own sensibilities, it was argued, and their experiences were leading them to leave behind everything from drinking straws to satellite TV in their quest to imprint the world with their own particular thought processes.
In the last five years, the millennial generation has begun to resemble other generations in some ways. They’ve become a little more focused on home life, as people do when they age. And, of course, as all of us have, they’ve come to realize that small screens can give you a bit of a headache.
Which is not to say I wasn’t a little bit right.
This image from nScreen Media shows the decline of traditional pay television since 2015. There has been a roughly 12% decline in pay television subscriptions in the last five years. But it’s not as bad as we once thought it would be.
And we can’t just blame millennials.
It’s probably time to spread some “blame” around to boomers, GenX, and zoomers. Or, it’s time to realize that we simply have other entertainment options besides television. Television isn’t going anywhere, but today we stream, we surf, we shop. We are attached to our devices. And that’s all part of the changes in the world. Movies and radio made room for television, and television will make room for internet.
Pay TV isn’t going anywhere.
No, it’s not. And despite the subscriber losses from large companies, there are still a massive number of people who enjoy live pay television. Chances are you’re one of them, because you’re reading this blog.