TV in the Cloud - Part 1

Earlier today Tech Crunch did an article about TV in the Cloud. They are wondering why no one is innovating in this space. They talks about how the TV industry is digging in in terms of online content. Stars is backing away from Netflix, Hulu is not selling very quickly, Apple TV seems to be "a Hobby," and Google TV seems to be blocked by everyone.

I read this article and I feel that the person is missing the real issues with Over the Top content.

But does anyone really doubt that eventually the Internet will triumph here to smash the rigid program guide that cable and satellite companies shove down our throats?

I have one problem with the first comment about rigid program guides. He it talking about when the programs air?. The cable companies are not deciding this. The content companies are decided it. Lots of television is created months before it is aired. Television content providers create the scarcity for their product.

Most of us only watch a few dozen channels regularly, yet we pay for 500. If we could subscribe on a per channel or per show basis, many of would.

If people were willing to pay per show Apple TV and Amazon Video would be taking off. Yes, people will say that they want to pay per show, but they are not willing to meet the price point the content providers want.

Whenever people bring up ala-carte pricing for television content, they only see part of the picture. Right now think about cable like shopping at a warehouse club, you get the price you get per channel because you are buying all of them. They don't let you open up the big bundle of toothpaste and only pay for one tube at Costco.

If you are going to only buy a few channels, expect to pay a lot more per channel. While HBO might coast $13 when you add it to your digital package, you should expect HBO Go to cost you $20-25 dollars a month as a stand alone product.

I know people in the tech industry want to change the way television is disturbed. That is like innovating the train station without innovating the tracks, the train, or the ticket system. You need to change the way television shows are funded before any of this stuff makes any sense at all.


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