digital video public relationsTV killed radio, so will digital video kill TV? Absolutely, say some market experts … and they are predicting a relatively quick death – by 2020.

As you may expect, YouTube is one of the standard bearers of this expectation. In a speech at the Consumer Electronics Show, YouTube chief business officer Robert Kyncl said, “Digital video will overtake television to become the single largest way people spend their free time before the end of this decade.”

Shifting trends and the rise in mobile viewing seem to favor Kyncl’s vision of the near future. YouTube made possible the rise of performers like Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande, and seems to be paving the way for up and coming rapper Tyler Cassidy (aka Froggy Fresh), and this changed the music industry every bit as dramatically as iTunes.

Likewise, digital content from streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon are becoming more popular. YouTube recently released a premium service that will begin offering unique content, and you can bet others will soon be making the switch.

From a PR perspective, TV needs to re-evaluate what it offers consumers, and how those consumers view those offerings. The days when choices were either cable or broadcast are long gone. Most people look at cable as yesterday’s tech and are hard at work trying to cut the cord and go completely digital streaming.

As more original programming begins to crowd the movie and TV programming already available on streaming services, expect a generation to come up who never even knew you could watch something other than streaming video. They will look at cable the same way millennial’s think about rabbit ears. By then, of course, we will be having this conversation about virtual reality.

So, what can cable do to keep up?

First, they need to capture and hold their current audience. There are two entire generations out there who don’t yet stream anything. And they watch a lot of TV. Keeping them hooked with a solid mix of good new programming as well as the right amount of nostalgia should protect that market block for the near future.

Now TV needs to go after the folks on the fence. Currently, many younger households who would cut the cord don’t for one reason: live sports. TVs top cash cow is also its current saving grace. As long as live sports – particularly college football – remain only available with a cable subscription, TV will be a force to reckon with. But, if the streaming services can do with ESPN and Fox what they did with HBO, TV will be in serious trouble.

This might be the year streaming reaches critical mass. Will be interesting to watch.

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Ronn Torossian is the Founder, President and CEO of New York-based 5W Public Relations. He has overseen the company's rapid growth and expansion to the Inc. 500 list, as well as provided counsel to hundreds of companies, including members of the Fortune 500, Inc. 500 and Forbes 400. His work spans global interests, corporate entities, high-profile individuals, regional business entities, government agencies and academic institutions - both on routine public relations matters and extremely sensitive issues. One of the foremost public relations experts in the U.S., Torossian is known for his aggressive, results-focused orientation, as well as his close working relationships with members of the media, influencers, decision makers, politicians and celebrities. At 5W Public Relations, Torossian's client experience has included programs for Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Anheuser-Busch, Barnes & Noble, Cantor Fitzgerald, IHOP, McDonald's, Evian, EDS, VeriSign, XM Radio, Seagram's, The Loews Regency, Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment, Marriott Hotels, Vail Resorts, Pamela Anderson, Snoop Dogg, the Government of Israel, and others. Referred to by The New York Post as a "publicity guru," by Fox News as a "high-powered PR CEO," by Tyra Banks as a "crisis management guru," and by CNN as "a leading PR expert," Torossian is regularly featured in and quoted by the media, including by CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, NBC, The New York Times, and others. CBS National News said "Ronn Torossian knows spin," and a New York Times feature story on Torossian referred to him as "The consummate hard-driving, scrappy NY publicist." Earlier in his career, Torossian was a Vice President/Group Director for one of The InterPublic Group's (IPG) largest PR agencies, where he was responsible for significant client growth and successful client programs, including work for Clinique, Fox News Channel, DHL, Hard Rock Café and others. A resident of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Torossian was named to the Advertising Age "40 Under 40" list, PR Week's "40 Under 40" List, is a regular lecturer at universities and conferences, a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of numerous non-profit organizations.


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