Will streaming news be the real winner of the 2020 Democratic debates?
by June 27, 2019

Filed under: Industry Insights, Networking Technology, Performance Monitoring

Between The Master’s and The Women’s World Cup, sports fans have had a lot of mid-day distractions lately. And while it’s not a sport in the traditional sense, the impending Democratic presidential debates present yet another heated competition that is likely to have many office workers switching back-and-forth between live streams over the coming months.

Mixing work and politics is never recommended, but it’s impossible to avoid the conversation around 2020 given the current news cycle and all that’s at stake. Plus, despite the gravity of it all, watching presidential nominees jockey for a lead in the polls is its own form of entertainment that even politically-agnostic watchers can enjoy.

But what does that mean for the enterprise network?

Similar to the evolution of televised sports, TV news is also making the move to streaming video, making content easily available for consumers to enjoy on multiple devices, wherever (and whenever) they’re connected to the Internet. That means that all of the next-day punditry that viewers may otherwise miss because they’re at the office and not glued to daytime cable news can now be streamed on demand, from a tablet during a conference or a mobile phone in the break room. 

It’s estimated that in the leadup to the 2020 election, streaming news will play a huge role in not only informing the electorate, but bringing political content to previously untapped audiences. Just a few weeks back, NBC News launched a free streaming service to join ABC and CBS in creating easily digestible content that appeals to more web-savvy Millennial viewers.

This is in direct response to the fast-aging viewership of traditional broadcast and cable news: The average viewer of CNN is 60 years old, while Fox News’ and MSNBC’s demographic is an average of 65 years old. 

That means that multiple generations of viewers aren’t even bothering with news media that is regularly touted as highly influential (though often by those same news sources). Instead, a recent study from eMarketer estimates that this year will mark the turning point where, for the first time ever, Americans will spend more hours on smartphones and tablets than watching traditional television. 

The programming from streaming TV News services is optimized for a mobile audience, with minimalist framing (opposed to the busy chyrons and multiple talking heads you’d find on CNN) and direct visuals that viewers can absorb at a glance. And with Millennials currently accounting for the bulk of the modern workforce, enterprise network teams shouldn’t be surprised to see a surge in streaming on the job as the primaries start heating up. 

While it might not be prudent to flat-out ban political discourse at work, enterprise teams need to be sure that their total network capacity isn’t being sucked up by non-business apps and tools. Streaming and video services already suck up a dominant share of network bandwidth, according to our 2019 State of Enterprise IT report, but teams should be on the lookout for sources of streaming content that could be having a material impact on the end-user experience of business-critical tools.

This kind of insight can only be gleaned when teams are empowered with end-to-end visibility across the entire enterprise network. To learn about what data teams need to gain this visibility, download our whitepaper, Four Dimensions of Network Performance Monitoring.