In the era of the internet, there’s an undeniable drive to keep pushing forward. Each year brings with it new tech and new possibilities, and the rapidity of this evolution plays a big part in developing equally rapid cultural ideas and trends.

Despite this truth, many classic parts of culture leverage new tech, but are not completely redefined by them. So what makes some classics like bingo remain so strong, while others like traditional broadcast TV continue to fade into obscurity? It’s a complex question, but it does have answers.

Eye on the Spectrum

Bingo is one of the oldest games still played today, first recorded in 1778 under the name Il Gioco del Lotto d’Italia. Evolving over the years, the most famous modern incarnations of the game are illustrated in services like the online bingo at Paddy Power. These games like Silver Room and Speed Trap bingo all take on the classic formula, only updated to work on modern desktop and mobile systems. With the same fun they’ve always offered, such titles still draw in huge new and first-time players. All this, while the original physical game also still performs extremely well.



Bingo cards” (CC BY-ND 2.0) by sarae

On the other side of the equation is the degradation of what used to be the dominant form of watching television – broadcast viewing. From what used to be the only way to engage, broadcast television has been on the decline for some time. As high-speed internet arrived, broadcast television faced an opponent it couldn’t overcome in streaming. Variety notes that viewership numbers have dropped harshly as consumption patterns have changed, with fewer shows succeeding in the old methods.

Convenience and Revolution

While both bingo and television have gone online, they’ve both ended up in very different places. Bingo still excels on all fronts, but streaming has dominated older methods, which struggle more and more with each passing year.

Ultimately, the reasons for this disparity lie in how online bingo is a popular alternative, but streaming represents a direct upgrade. If you’re playing bingo online, you can still play with your friends and experience a new level of convenience, but the original way to play remains fun too. In television, the original way is to limiting to hold up, so it’s starting to fail the test of time.

With broadcast television, you don’t get to choose when to watch, you don’t get to rewind or choose how many times you watch, and your choices on what you watch are limited. With streaming services like Hulu, none of these problems occur. Right now, as reported by JustWatch, Hulu alone offers 1,300+ TV shows on demand, far beyond what older methods of delivery could ever dream of.” (CC BY 2.0) by ryanmerritt

In the entertainment space, there are times when the world is big enough for everyone, as with bingo. When it comes to broadcast television, however, the new name is town is too big for the older way to keep its place. Though, as with older radio broadcasts, we’d never expect this form of television to die out completely. Its time in the sun is over, as it’s destined for a future in streaming’s shadow.