The cable vs. television war is not about price (IMHO), but more about ease of use. Though someone could argue that there is a usability curve that can be overlaid across ease of use (we pay more for simpler, pay less for complex). Cable is mature and has worked through the majority of the usability kinks in it’s product, thus, consumers find it easy to use. We pay a premium for this.
Early in 2010, we created a document at The Media Kitchen called Cable Cutters. We posted this on Slideshare for all to see. The document outlined the options that consumers have to “cut their cords” and skip using a traditional cable box. There is a growing community of people doing this and it’s something that if you are a television advertiser, you probably want to study.
I was reading the NY Times this morning while on vacation and saw The Sofa Wars article and In The Living Room, Hooked on TV. These obviously triggered this post. I also thought back to the Mark Cuban vs. Avner Ronen debate during SXSW.
It’s simply too damn difficult for the majority of people to leave cable and get the same or similar channels…. today. Even if the hardware/software was free, it’s too complex to setup and use time and time again.
What this looks like tomorrow is not-known but there are billions of dollars invested in this cable infrastructure, billions of more dollars in media contracts, and SAG rights that are still in flux re: digital. This will evolve.. but not as fast as we’d like.
Anderson’s post re: the Internet is Dead would mean that we don’t need a browser to watch our favorite shows… they would appear directly on our television set. I can’t wait for this… and open up the potentially millions of channels.
If this is the case, what becomes the TV Guide for next generation television? Is is companies like Milabra or Affine Systems who do image recognition? Or is it meta-tagging companies who trigger off of structured data?
I covered all different areas in this post and wasn’t as structured as I like… but hopefully it spurred some thoughts. Please leave comments on the blog or thru Twitter (@dherman76).