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Posted by on Jun 13, 2009 in Media, Science & Technology | 5 comments

No Way To Save The TV Business

I could not agree more:

The traditional TV industry–cable companies, networks, and broadcasters–is where the newspaper industry was about five years ago:

In denial. […]

Specifically, the TV industry’s attitude is the same as the newspaper industry’s attitude was circa 2002-2003: Stop calling us dinosaurs: We get digital; We’re growing our digital businesses; We’re investing in digital platforms; People still recall ads even when they fast-foward through them on DVRs; There’s no subtitute for TV ads.  And traditional TV isn’t going away: Just look at our revenue and profits!

That’s Henry Blodget writing at Silicon Valley Insider. He predicts cable, phone and wireless companies will all become/stay “dumb pipes.”

We can only hope!

Those companies have among the best lobbyists (and are among the highest political contributors to both parties) and legislation has been used to divert what looked like inevitable technology-driven innovation before.

BUT Blodget says this reality cannot be avoided:

  • Other simple and fun options emerging at home: Internet, video games, Facebook, IM, DVDs
  • New ways to get TV content other than traditional TV companies: Hulu, YouTube, iTunes, Netflix
  • Video-story options for advertisers beginning to emerge: Hulu shows, for example (But NBC, et al, making a lot less per viewer now than they do on TV)
  • More options for getting video content: telcos, cable cos, wireless cos (soon)
  • Fewer choke points in each market: With an Internet connection anywhere in the world, you will soon be able to get to almost anything.  And not just to your computer–to your television.

His concluding prediction:

A few clever online aggregators–YouTube? Hulu? Cable companies? Netflix?–will create nice video portals and build powerful new businesses. At these portals, you’ll be able to sign up to watch anything in the world on any device you want.  You’ll be able choose among multiple subscription models (monthly, a la carte).  You’ll also have a basic “what’s on” option in case you just want to watch TV.

When will this happen?  Over the next 5-10 years.  And it will leave today’s TV industry looking like today’s newspaper industry.

And from this TV consumer’s perspective, it can’t happen soon enough.

Again, I could not agree more!

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Copyright 2009 The Moderate Voice
  • Don Quijote

    And the faster TV goes out of business, the better off America will be…

    IMHO, the ideal model would be one in which I could buy TV shows by the season at a reasonable price:

    $10 – 15 a season for a Drama Series (Lost, Heroes, The wire, etc..) .
    $5 – 7 a season for a Sitcom Series(Seinfeld, Chuck, 2.1/2 men, Weeds, etc) .
    $1 – 5 a season of Documentary shows.
    $1 – 3 a season fro Late Night/News show.
    PBS shows for free.
    Kids TV – $1 to 3 the season per show.

    ( A standard season be 18 to 20 shows)

  • Good riddance. The bandits that bribed our lawmakers to give them monopoly power to gobble up all the competition, and gave away the public property in bandwidth, now find they wasted their money. Good. They wanted to own the only voice we hear, all TV, all radio, all newspapers. Well they got it, and they’re dying. Doesn’t bother me one bit.

  • DLS

    How many people could get a digital converter box for an old analog TV, for example, but who haven’t, because the content of what is on television isn’t worth it? The only time I’ve watched and listened to television (and sometimes not listened, if the volume were off) has been when traveling or when some of us in Upstate New York would get together periodically to watch certain things and then trade remarks and criticism (including Dem and GOP speeches, always a good object of criticism). TV content has been low-IQ for decades, and is compounded by the liberal politics infused not only in the networks but among the entertainers, etc, who are on the news, who present liberal “opinion” and (often false) statements as “news” or “objective information” [sic], and whose presenters are vapid pretty people who smile too much and make stupid hand gestures while saying nothing of value or nothing positive.

    The same goes for the dumbed-down content and liberal crusader “journalism” [sic] too often in newspapers.

    Note that this content problem exists on-line as well as in plain-paper media; adoption of the Web should not be made into too great a deal by those too childishly smitten about it, or incorporate it into their form of self-absorption. [rolling eyes] The real problem has been the content of the “news” sources (and those who are in the news, celebrities with their own irritating style of leftist political leanings, the two of which often are blended or inbred), the lowering of quality of content as well as the political ruining of news. I am like a large number of people who haven’t suddenly stopped watching television or reading newspapers (which I still do, along with reading real, actual books) with the popularity of the Web. I’m like so many who stopped THIRTY YEARS AGO because of the garbage already present at that time.

    Compounding the issue is the failure of so many young people to be interested in reading and learning and becoming knowledgeable about so many things. (Presumably they just follow the leads of their favorite celebrities in the entertainment and related industries if not in Washington nowadays.) How much time is spent by people on the Web not intelligently reading or writing (composing), but instead merely listening to music or sending text messages or even e-mails that reveal poor intellectual or behavioral or developmental levels? (All lower case letters, numerals substituted for letters, et cetera.)

    Fortunately books haven’t died yet and probably never will. The Web won’t replace them entirely, ever, and nor will unnecessary gimmicky childish toys such as an E-book (using correct English) that is just a battery-dependent hand-and-finger-toy substitute these days.

    • Don Quijote

      The Web won’t replace them entirely, ever, and nor will unnecessary gimmicky childish toys such as an E-book (using correct English) that is just a battery-dependent hand-and-finger-toy substitute these days.

      My guess is that once E-books settle on a standard format, e-books will do to the publishing industry what mp3s have done to the CDs, Cassettes & Records.

      TV content has been low-IQ for decades,

      That’s the free market for you, since the purpose of TV is to aggregate audiences to sell to Corporate America.

      None the less we are in a golden age.The fact is that 95% of what is on TV is crap, but the other 5% is actually pretty good and some of it is really great, and that 5% is more TV viewing than most people have time for.

  • DLS

    “With an Internet connection anywhere in the world, you will soon be able to get to almost anything. And not just to your computer–to your television. ”

    Certainly the television is an appealing “super-monitor” to let you browse using a big screen (as well as tie in your audio equipment and have more fun than ever at simulations, if you like that, for example as a recreation). But what a “smart” television needs to be used for is for more mundane but practical and effective things. To name one, the best example, it should replace the old-fashioned land-line telephone with a (big-screen, in many cases) video-telephone capability (if you have a camera incorporated with it). It’s a creakily old idea, but still the best example of a use for television that should someday become but isn’t obviously yet widespread.

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