Friday, September 24, 2004

Television Is Officially Obsolete

A recent study has shown that people are now spending more time on the web than watching TV. You heard that right; TV is officially obsolete. Seth Godin comments on the study:

It took only ten years to topple the most important, most powerful medium of all time. TV elects Presidents, sells cars, introduces products and changes the culture. It also sucks the initiative and creativity of entire generations down the drain. Ten years is a heartbeat. This is an astonishing change in the way we buy and learn and vote and grow our businesses. I don't think it has really sunk in yet. The second? That the consumers who make the biggest difference (the busy ones, the ones who earn a lot, spend a lot, vote, talk a lot and change things) are the ones most likely to be online and least likely to watch TV.

That's the part I find the most interesting. The term "idiot box" may become increasingly accurate as TV continues to spiral into a lower-brow medium. The content on TV will get worse as the intelligence of its supporters (ad watchers) decreases.

Yes, Oprah is still far more powerful than Yahoo. But at the same time, Drudge and Jeff Bezos and Doc Searls are way more influential than their offline cousins.

Indeed. But to me, part of TV's allure can be attributed precisely to its brain-deadness. Sometimes it takes a good hour of useless political rhetoric to unwind before going to bed. But let's face it--all the real information is on the web.

I should clarify that. The big-media channels are on the web too. But that doesn't mean they get the web. There's a big difference.