Compared to a decade ago, the way we “watch TV” has completely transformed. Where we used to rely on TV guides to tell us when to tune in to our favorite shows and programming, we can now use on-demand services to watch when and where we want.
As a result, launching a linear streaming channel has become easier and more accessible than ever before.
What is Live Linear TV?
Live linear TV, also called linear TV, is a term for traditional television. In other words, linear TV is a form of live broadcasting that has been used for decades.
Linear TV is also referred to as cable television and is based on scheduled programming that is delivered to the audience (via satellite or cable) at a specific time.
What’s the Difference Between Linear TV and On-Demand TV?
If you’re anything like many modern Americans, you’re using linear TV less and less – and instead, you frequently turn to on-demand TV for entertainment, news, and more.
Let’s look at the basic differences between linear vs. on-demand TV:
- Linear TV is the traditional method of watching TV, with viewers tuning in at a certain time to watch a specific program. A linear broadcast runs in real-time, with the same content being shown to every viewer tuning in at that time.
- Advanced TV is an umbrella term that covers various forms of non-traditional television, including:
- On-demand TV: Viewers can watch their selected content at their own pace, streaming whenever they want.
- Connected TV: Viewers use a television or device with an internet connection (such as a smart TV or a TV linked to a gaming console or streaming device) to stream online content. This method of streaming content without a traditional TV service or subscription is known as the Over-the-Top (OTT) service.
There have been dramatic shifts in how we consume content, leading to changes in linear TV. And although many people are “cutting the cord” and opting for on-demand entertainment, linear TV is still a medium worth using.
Leveraging the Advantages of Linear Format
Interestingly, there are still many benefits of linear TV programming that you cannot get from on-demand options.
First and foremost, as viewers gain access to a virtually unlimited array of content, it is becoming increasingly common for them to experience option paralysis. We have all been there: so many options for what to watch that you feel completely overwhelmed. If you have ever spent an entire evening scrolling through Netflix without actually watching something, you have experienced option paralysis.
Another drawback of video-on-demand content is that it is much more difficult and expensive to create in the long run. As a result, on-demand platforms have to invest a huge amount of money to provide enough content to viewers, and it can be a challenge to break even.
But with linear TV programming, you can take advantage of some strategic techniques such as:
- Hammocking: Placing a new or low-performing show between two other, more popular shows to retain viewers
- Cross-programming: Showing programs that feature the same talent, back to back, to maintain audience interest
- Hot switching: Cutting out the pause at the end of a program, eliminating wait time, and seamlessly transitioning into the new program.
- Theming: Grouping together different programs based on a central theme.
- Marathons: Showing multiple episodes or seasons of a popular show at one time.
Linear TV Programming Challenges
Linear TV isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, but if you want to learn how to start your own linear channel, you’ll need to be prepared to face a few challenges:
- The quality of VOD content is extremely high, which is why so many streaming series and movies end up going viral
- It can be difficult to compete with streaming platforms, so you’ll need to up your game when it comes to promotion
- It’s vital to cater to a target audience rather than aiming for mass appeal
Want to Work in Radio & TV Broadcasting?
Whether you’re interested in a job in linear TV broadcasting or the latest streaming platforms, gaining the right education and experience is essential to getting your foot in the door. At the Beonair Network of Media Schools, with campuses located in Miami, Chicago, Colorado, and Ohio, our Radio & TV Broadcasting program covers all of the key industry topics you need to know, including linear/streaming entertainment, technical skills, and more.
Start Your Broadcasting Today!
The media industry is constantly changing, making it an ideal field for anyone that wants an exciting and fulfilling career. Contact us for more information about how to get a job in broadcasting, or apply online now!