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Streaming Service and Elderly During COVID-19 Pandemic

Introduction

The Covid-19 novel coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on the entire planet, and no corner of the world remained untouched. To mitigate the consequences of the outbreak, governments implemented strict lockdown protocols in multiple areas. As a result, millions of people remained confined in their homes with little socialization. Older generations have been a particularly vulnerable age group in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, which is why their confinement has generally been stricter. Having to spend most of their time at home, older adults have demonstrated a significant increase in the use of streaming services. However, it is discussed whether this type of content shows sufficient accessibility to this particular age group. The purpose of this paper is to explore the effect of streaming on the elderly in the course of the Covid-19 lockdown.

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Background Information

The Covid-19 pandemic has revolutionized different areas of the global economy since it was unexpected and capable of claiming the lives of many people. Governments across the globe instituted lockdown measures to minimize the rate of infection. Consequently, more people have been forced to watch television and consume online services through steaming. According to Tefertiller (2020), the time individuals spent on different subscription platforms and services had doubled between April and May. The lockdown measures forced adults to spend over six hours every single day staring at computer or television screens (Tefertiller, 2020). Many people embraced this kind of practice to overcome the challenges of boredom. Most of the instituted measures had significant impacts on people’s lives, such as the need to pursue new career goals or engage in other economic activities.

Many people in different parts of the world had to look for new ways of spending time in confinement in terms of communication and entertainment. Seetharaman (2020) states that the pandemic, namely restrictions imposed by it, accelerated the shift toward online means of service and product distribution. In other words, the lockdown emphasized the necessity of digitalization in the modern world. Indeed, today’s technological advancements enable access to countless forms of media and entertainment via an Internet connection (O’Connor, 2020). Therefore, online services, including content streaming, have become an effective instrument of reducing boredom and depression caused by the lockdown and inability to socialize.

Impact on the Elderly

The elderly in any given community are identified as individuals who are at risk of various challenges, such as discrimination, poor health experiences, and reduced ability. Those without proper support systems find it hard to overcome most of the problems they face in their lives (Majumdar & Naha, 2020). The onset of this pandemic has exposed additional issues that policymakers should consider to transform the experiences of more elderly citizens (Middleton, 2020). Specifically, the lockdown measures compelled most of the elderly to adjust and consider new ways for pursuing their entertainment goals.

The discussed issue has been particularly topical in the context of older adults. This tendency had been observed long before the coronavirus pandemic broke out in the year 2020, which is why it is possible to state that lockdown has aggravated a pre-existing problem (O’Connor, 2020). However, Beck et al. (2020) note that the Covid-19 situation disrupted the traditional order for millions of households, and many people reported increased anxiety, as well as sleeping disorders (O’Connor, 2020). Indeed, confinement is likely to have a detrimental effect on one’s mental condition due to the lack of familiar means of entertainment and communication. These members of the society have over the years lacked adequate health systems and welfare programs.

Fortunately, modern online services offer a variety of pastime options, which would be an obvious choice for younger generations. At the same time, older adults may not be as familiar with this type of entertainment. However, streaming services have seen an increase in popularity in recent years due to their competitive advantages in comparison to traditional forms of media and content. Tefertiller (2020) states that content streaming has made numerous users opt for it instead of television, and lack of advertising combined with a broader choice played a crucial role. The list of other advantages includes high interactivity, a larger content database, and the lack of fixed broadcasting schedules.

Historically, older adults were considered to be in favor of conventional media types, which is why younger generations served as the primary target audience for streaming services. Nevertheless, studies have shown a moderate increase in older adults’ use of streaming services. 33% of all adults between ages 55 to 64 and 15% of people over 65 years used streaming services during the lockdown, up from 25% and 12%, respectively, before the pandemic (“Lockdown leads to a surge in TV screen time and streaming,” 2020). The tendency demonstrates this form of media has significant potential, as far as the discussed age groups are concerned. Furthermore, streaming services have relevant content for older audiences and remain accessible to them. Middleton (2020) states that “UK adults doubled the amount of time spent on streamers during the peak of the Covid-19 lockdown,” adding that “older viewers were a key component of that uptick.” (para. 4). Older people can use streaming services as an alternative past-time activity. Since this type of entertainment is already popular, they can benefit from learning how to use this technology to cope with loneliness and boredom.

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On the other hand, the use of information technology by older adults is often associated with particular problems. First of all, many of them are not familiar with modern advancements and find it difficult to learn. In addition, quality streaming requires a stable broadband connection, which is not universally available. The Conversation (2020) writes that “around 53,000 homes in the UK are unable to access either a decent fixed broadband service or good 4G coverage.” This issue is not exclusive to Great Britain and remains global in nature despite modern opinions regarding the Internet’s status as one of the basic necessities. However, Governments who are working with broadcasting companies are able to negate the impact of this disparity. O’Connor (2020) states that, in the United Kingdom, “all stakeholders have agreed on a set of commitments to support and protect vulnerable consumers and those who may become vulnerable due to circumstances arising from Coronavirus.” Therefore, nowadays, there is a tendency to dictate the availability of online content for all communities.

The move by the elderly to rely on modern technologies and social media networks for entertainment has presented additional challenges these members of society continue to face. For instance, the issues associated with the ongoing Covid-19 have revealed that the elderly are not targeted when it comes to online streaming (The Conversation, 2020). This gap presents new opportunities that the government and other professionals can consider to transform the situation (Philip & Cherian, 2020). Researchers and innovators can consider the need to deliver additional content that is capable of entertaining and meeting the overall needs of these underserved members of society. This strategy will encourage them to learn new ideas that can guide them to lead high-quality lives as they age.

The medical challenges and the desire to protect lives have compelled different authorities to consider new ways of managing this pandemic. This fact explains why Covid-19 has had a significant impact on people’s lives, which was particularly grave in the case of older adults. Having been confined to their homes, such people had to find new ways of entertainment (Middleton, 2020). Statistics have reported an increased interest of this age group toward content streaming, despite reasonable concerns of such services’ unavailability for the elderly (Tefertiller, 2020). Overall, it is possible to say that streaming is a rapidly growing market segment, and the pandemic has contributed to its development by allowing it to encompass new age groups.

The relevant leaders need to rely on this development to support the introduction of new laws to guide the way more elderly individuals access online content. For example, companies providing such technological services should design appropriate entertainment programs that can meet their demands (“Lockdown leads to a surge in TV screen time and streaming,” 2020). The promoted policies need to address some of the possible risks the elderly stand to encounter when streamlining various services, such as phishing and hacking. These developments will ensure that such products are beneficial and capable of supporting the needs of all key stakeholders.

The lessons gained from Covid-19 should guide government officials and app developers to rely on this emerging trend to design new systems that can improve people’s health experiences. Specifically, the relevant medical departments can collaborate with providers of streaming services to ensure that more elderly citizens have access to timely health information (“Lockdown leads to a surge in TV screen time and streaming,” 2020). For instance, the available apps and websites can provide additional instructions for managing diabetes, leading a healthy lifestyle, and overcoming stress (Beck et al., 2020). Individuals relying on such streaming services can benefit from new guidelines focusing on balanced diets. These achievements will transform the lives of more people and eventually take them closer to their goals.

Similarly, the global society needs to learn from this trend and consider new ways of addressing the demands of these potential consumers and their behaviors. For example, advertisers can transform their targeting and positioning strategies in the market to maximize the experiences of the elderly (Kaur & Sahdev, 2020). This pandemic has presented new realities that many people never knew existed. All stakeholders should, therefore, consider most of these emerging issues to present additional resources and entertainment options to the elderly (Beck et al., 2020). The move to implement evidence-based procedures and practices to empower the elderly can help American society address some of the problems they have faced in the past. The lessons gained from Covid-19 should become the best foundation for guiding more citizens and transforming the efficiency of the online streaming industry.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the above discussion has revealed that the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic is a medical predicament that continues to affect the lives and experiences of many people. The elderly and the young identified new ways of addressing boredom and pursuing their economic aims. The insights presented in this discussion could guide investors, policymakers, and developers in the field of technology to produce superior products, apps, and services that meet the needs of all citizens. The provision of personalized content will transform the world for the better and prepare more elderly citizens for a positive streaming experience.

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References

Beck, F., Leger, D., Fressard, L., Peretti-Watel, P., Verger, P., & The Coconel Group (2020). Covid-19 health crisis and lockdown associated with high level of sleep complaints and hypnotic uptake at the population level. Journal of Sleep Research. Web.

The Conversation. (2020). While TV viewing surges during lockdown, some find new smart TV technology inaccessible. The Next Web.

Kaur, N., & Sahdev, S. L. (2020). Fighting COVID-19 with technology and innovation, evolving and advancing with technological possibilities. International Journal of Advanced Research in Engineering & Technology, 11(7), 395-405. Web.

Lockdown leads to surge in TV screen time and streaming. (2020). Ofcom. Web.

Middleton, R. (2020). Ofcom: Older viewers driving COVID-19 boost in streaming. Digital TV Europe. Web.

Majumdar, B., & Naha, S. (2020). Live sport during the COVID-19 crisis: Fans as creative broadcasters. Sport in Society, 23(7), 1091-1099. Web.

O’Connor, A. (2020). Staying connected: Broadband and coronavirus (COVID-19). SPICe Spotlight | Solas air SPICe. Web.

Philip, J., & Cherian, V. (2020). Impact of COVID-19 on mental health of the elderly. International Journal of Community Medicine and Public Health, 7(6), 2435-2436. Web.

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Seetharaman, P. (2020). Business models shifts: Impact of Covid-19. International Journal of Information Management, 54. Web.

Tefertiller, A. (2020). Cable cord-cutting and streaming adoption: Advertising avoidance and technology acceptance in television innovation. Telematics and Informatics, 51. Web.

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