With American Idol, texting, and other longstanding trends seemingly dead on arrival in 2014, it’s still anybody’s guess which trends will live to see next year.
AT&T has dropped American Idol as the show kicks off its 13th season with plummeting ratings. Shows like The Voice and Dancing with the Stars are quickly taking over the reality show market and sponsors are noticing.
While American Idol had played a major role in promoting text messages for AT&T back when people thought the concept of texting was interesting, times have changed. People no longer want to bother with texting and Idol is losing its fan base despite its increasingly desperate attempts to push on.
Not only are American Idol’s ratings joining other dead trends of 2014, but the show has also lost the coveted 18-49 year old demographic. AT&T first’s episodes in 2002 became an instant cultural phenomenon and AT&T was among the first advertisers to jump on board. At that time, AT&T was trying to push text messaging to its largely SMS-oblivious potential customer base.
Since AT&T first started advertising its shiny new service, texting messaging has seen its boom and bust. At the beginning of the century, the average person was sending about one text message per day. The latest SMS data shows that people are sending nearly twice as many instant message as texts.
The now-commonplace unlimited text message plans are not really good enough anymore. They were great when the alternative was to pay for each text going in or out but that isn’t the norm any longer. Rather than even bothering with texts at all, free online messaging apps like Whatsapp and SnapChat are the clear value.
The death of texting will be slow and drawn out with rattles still expected as late as 2018. Tech experts are still expecting text messages to bring in more than $100 billion this year. While internet messaging apps are popular, all of the online services combined cannot even compare.
Rather than paying carriers for texting, users are increasingly moving over the social apps. According to Flurry Analytics’s latest data, instant messaging apps have increased in popularity by 203 percent over the past year. That is faster than the growth seen in any other type of app.
While Facebook Messenger is still the top social app in the United States, it is falling off in the rest of the word as Whatsapp and WeChat quickly eat up the market. A recent study of Android and iOS users looked at the world’s key smartphone markets of China, the U.S., South Africa, Indonesia, and Brazil. 44 percent of them used WhatsApp, 35 percent used Facebook Messenger, 25 percent used WeChat, and 19 percent used Twitter at least once a week.
On average, 63 percent of respondents used instant messaging apps more than ten times per day. Text message and email use was far behind social apps with only a respective 28 percent and 24 percent of participants using them two to three times per day. Despite the changing trends, 31 percent of the sample group was still using voice calling more ten times per day.
The next few months will tell for sure if almost dead trends like American Idol and texting will make it through 2014 at all.
By Nicci Mende