TV networks try to connect with young, tech-savvy multitaskers
With kids watching less live TV, networks are coming up with new ways to reach young viewers on their smartphones, laptops and tabletsBy Dawn C. Chmielewski and Meg James, Los Angeles TimesHollywood has a problem. He’s Cole Chanin-Hassman, and he’s 10.Like many other kids his age, the Los Angeles fourth-grader counts among his entertainment tools his Xbox 360 game console, his Android phone and his computer.The television is almost an afterthought. When Cole comes home from school, he turns on Cartoon Network‘s “Regular Show,” but the characters on the TV screen compete for his attention with the world-building game “Minecraft” and a parade of YouTube videos on his computer.”Sometimes, I’ll kind of lift my head up a little bit and watch,” Cole said. “But usually I’m just kind of listening to [the TV] and playing on my computer.”Cole’s habits illustrate the enormous challenges that confronttelevision networks fighting to remain viable and profitable in the digital age. They’re losing viewers, and they know it.
But here’s the thing: This only matters to TV executives. How we get our entertainment isn’t the big consumer concern – as long as we get the most entertainment the easiest way. Video doesn’t kill the TV star. It just co-opts him or her…and takes the money too.