Someone, unplug this TV

Does November 9th, 2015 ring a bell?

If you’re of a certain era, you may remember it as the 26th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. It was on November 9th, 1989 that East Germany announced that all of its citizens could visit West Germany and West Berlin. It was an historic day, with iconic images of East Germans climbing onto the wall to celebrate with West Germans on the other side. It was a week many Canadians spent glued to their televisions. And for the better part of the next two decades, TV remained our go-to source for the day’s news.

Perhaps it was only fitting then that on November 9th, 2015, we learned that Canada’s top TV providers had already lost seven times more customers in 2015 than in 2014. How we consume news, and where we get it, has changed profoundly in the last two decades, and especially in the last five years. Gone are the days when you had to be on television to get your message out to the masses.

If the Berlin Wall fell today, more people would hear about it on Twitter or through their Facebook feed than by watching it on the evening broadcast.

Less than half of Canadians still rely on TV to get their news and the big cable providers lost at least 153,000 subscribers in 2015. More than ever, the industry is threatened by so-called ‘cord-nevers,’ the growing segment of the population that has never subscribed to television. It seems traditional television is going the way of print and radio.

This is an important detail when you’re in the business of shifting public opinion. Typically, we need to get our message out to a specific segment of the population: heavy news users. These people tend to be an active segment of the population and are often the ones we need to get onside. And according to Canada’s Media Technology Monitor (MTM), heavy news users are more likely than others to read news online. In fact, Canadians are more addicted to the Internet than their global counterparts.

In a world where Canadians spend more and more time on their desktop and mobile devices consuming news, we know where we need to be to do our jobs well. That’s why we’re working feverishly to expand our digital offering. To shape opinion, you need a digital strategy.

Do you have one?