The Rise of Digital Media and What That Means for Large Network Providers
Second screen? More like first screen. Mobile devices have been competing with TV sets for more than a few years now and it's looking like they're going to ultimately win the screen wars.
eMarketer reported that 2013 was the first year in which American adults spent more time consuming digital media than watching TV. That was a big change in and of itself but today tablet uses are changing, too. Nowadays not only are people checking email on their tablets (and smartphones) while catching up on shows, they're ditching their television sets altogether in favor of something more portable. Don't expect to find a 50" LED TV in a Millennial's apartment. A new study from Deloitte found that teens and young people in their 20s are more likely to watch shows and movies on tablets, phablets, smartphones and computers than gathered around a big-screen TV.
Whereas once not owning a television set was a badge of honor worn by intellectuals there may soon be an entire generation of people who have never owned and will never own one. For them, TV is something you watch propped up in your lap or even held in the palm of your hand. Don't mistake changing habits for decreasing interest, though. There's still plenty to watch and plenty of people watching. The BBC found that nearly half of the 234 million video streams it recorded for February of 2014 were viewed on mobile devices. Only a quarter were viewed on TV sets.
Cable companies have been the clear loser in the screen wars. Cutting the cord is another way to say you're joining the 19% of American households that market research firm GfK reported are living without cable – which is something even diehard sports fans are now considering as cable costs go up and cable bundles become more packed and more rigid. Even new app-based cable subscription services can hardly compete with Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime and even networks streaming complete episodes of popular shows on their websites for free.
And thus the second-screen revolution ended and the mobile screen uprising began. Subscribing to all the three of the services in the above paragraph only costs a fraction of the price of most basic cable packages. Basic – or not so basic – cable requires a television, too. Streaming? Not so much, which means one less device to buy and eventually replace. You watch what you want when you want. And where you want. Watching on a tablet, laptop or smartphone means watching anywhere, from the comfiest living room recliner to the least comfortable commuter train seat.
Put that way it doesn't seem all that surprising that television sets are losing out to mobile devices where media consumption is concerned. There's something that just feels right about downsizing to a single device for work, life and entertainment, too. Studies show that nearly half of all American adults own tablets and more than half of American adults have a smartphone. Those figures are only going to go up, which is big news for marketers who need to figure out fresh ways to reach eyeballs glued to commercial-free streaming programming – and they need to do it fast.
They're not the only ones who have to adapt to the changes to how people and Millennials in particular are "watching television." Nielsen and the networks, too, are scrambling to find the right ways to analyze viewing habits across multiple screens. Don't be surprised to see the first mobile Nielsen ratings attached to the 2015 TV season – or to find that most people watching TV aren't watching a TV.
How changing your company's software code can prevent bias
Two-third of tech professionals believe organizations aren’t doing enough to address racial inequality. After all, many companies will just hire a DEI consultant, have a few training sessions and call it a day.
Wanting to take a unique yet impactful approach to DEI, Deltek, the leading global provider of software and solutions for project-based businesses, took a look at and removed all exclusive terminology in their software code. By removing terms such as ‘master’ and ‘blacklist’ from company coding, Deltek is working to ensure that diversity and inclusion are woven into every aspect of their organization.
Business Chief North America talks to Lisa Roberts, Senior Director of HR and Leader of Diversity & Inclusion at Deltek to find out more.
Why should businesses today care about removing company bias within their software code?
We know that words can have a profound impact on people and leave a lasting impression. Many of the words that have been used in a technology environment were created many years ago, and today those words can be harmful to our customers and employees. Businesses should use words that will leave a positive impact and help create a more inclusive culture in their organization
What impact can exclusive terms have on employees?
Exclusive terms can have a significant impact on employees. It starts with the words we use in our job postings to describe the responsibilities in the position and of course, we also see this in our software code and other areas of the business. Exclusive terminology can be hurtful, and even make employees feel unwelcome. That can impact a person’s desire to join the team, stay at a company, or ultimately decide to leave. All of these critical actions impact the bottom line to the organization.
Please explain how Deltek has removed bias terminology from its software code
Deltek’s engineering team has removed biased terminology from our products, as well as from our documentation. The terms we focused on first that were easy to identify include blacklist, whitelist, and master/slave relationships in data architecture. We have also made some progress in removing gendered language, such as changing he and she to they in some documentation, as well as heteronormative language. We see this most commonly in pick lists that ask to identify someone as your husband or wife. The work is not done, but we are proud of how far we’ve come with this exercise!
What steps is Deltek taking to ensure biased terminology doesn’t end up in its code in the future?
What we are doing at Deltek, and what other organizations can do, is to put accountability on employees to recognize when this is happening – if you see something, say something! We also listen to feedback our customers give us and have heard their feedback on this topic. Those are both very reactive things of course, but we are also proactive. We have created guidance that identifies words that are more inclusive and also just good practice for communicating in a way that includes and respects others.
What advice would you give to other HR leaders who are looking to enhance DEI efforts within company technology?
My simple advice is to start with what makes sense to your organization and culture. Doing nothing is worse than doing something. And one of the best places to start is by acknowledging this is not just an HR initiative. Every employee owns the success of D&I efforts, and employees want to help the organization be better. For example, removing bias terminology was an action initiated by our Engineering and Product Strategy teams at Deltek, not HR. You can solicit the voices of employees by asking for feedback in engagement surveys, focus groups, and town halls. We hear great recommendations from employees and take those opportunities to improve.