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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!