Face off: Should online streaming websites take over from regular television broadcasting?

Face off: Should online streaming websites take over from regular television broadcasting?

Each week, two of our readers debate a hot topic in a parliamentary-style debate that doesn’t necessarily reflect their personal viewpoint. This week’s topic is ...

Joshua Lee, 18, Cardiff University, Britain

Video streaming services are extremely popular. People are starting to switch from watching television to streaming their favourite shows and films online. Instead of trying to fight this trend, broadcasters should embrace the changes to the media landscape, and allow online streaming services to take over from traditional broadcasting.

Online streaming services bring obvious benefits in terms of the content you want to watch and the way you watch it. You can stream the programmes you want on many different mobile devices. You can also choose where and when you watch them, unlike traditional broadcasting where you can only watch what the television station chooses to broadcast at that time.

Traditional television stations are funded by advertising, so their content has to fit the advertisers’ requirements so they can make a profit. As a result, programmes often feature product placement, or they are produced in a way that is less innovative and more “advertiser friendly”. Streaming services, however, are mainly funded by subscriptions, so you aren’t bombarded by advertising. Producers are free to create original programmes, and innovative, quality content to attract audiences, rather than focusing on attracting advertisers.

Broadcasters should recognise this trend and adapt by accommodating streaming services that are not only more convenient for consumers but also offer high-quality content.

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Lucinda Kam Wing-lam, 20, University of Hong Kong

Some people say that online streaming websites should take over from regular television broadcasting. This may not be a good idea because these websites are very inconvenient.

Streaming sites depend heavily on the stability of the network. If the network is not working well, such as in the case of bad weather, your screen will keep freezing. Then your enjoyment of the programme is affected.

Online streaming is convenient in that you can watch any programmes anywhere and anytime – but it will cost you. Most people have limited cell phone data plans, which cap the amount of their data usage. If they exceed that amount, they have to either pay extra for more data or they will only be able to watch when they have wifi access. Also, a lot of people use their data to download apps, music and videos. This can result in congestion and slow down the downloads, causing much inconvenience.

Television shows do have a lot of advertisements, but these adverts also exist in most online programmes. You need to watch them before or in the middle of those shows.

Every home has a television, which is usually in the living room. It’s available for everyone to watch anything together. Television can help enhance family relationships. For example, people can have dinner or discuss current issues while watching a live football match on television. However, many people using online streaming services do it on their own electronic devices and watch the programmes alone, which only distances them from others.

TV also gives you programmes of high technical quality. With a great sound system and visual effects, some TVs offer a realistic experience for viewers that most phones and laptops cannot provide.

Edited by Sam Gusway


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