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Ambient television: why streaming services are focusing on the background

It has always been common to walk into a home with a television playing in the background – they provide a comforting level of background noise even when no one is actively watching them. For every complex, high-action drama like Line of Duty that demands all of our attention, there seems to be countless programmes designed for an only half-interested viewer, who may be cleaning their house, cooking dinner, or just looking on their phone. Traditionally, this “ambient television” has been the realm of live TV, the pre-determined schedule of shows requiring minimal effort from the audience. However, as streaming services continue to grow in popularity, categories like ‘Casual Viewing’ on Netflix suggest that they are also keen to offer their own form of ambient television. Unlike live television, on these platforms, viewers have to make an active choice to put on something they know they will only half-watch. This suggests that, even with more choice than ever, we are still very much drawn to ambient television.


https://theboar.org/2021/06/ambient-television-why-streaming-services-are-focusing-on-the-background/


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