Stop The Cap! has been at it again, covering the continuing developments in the war on broadband technology, sometimes in spite of big incumbent industries who want to pretend these changes aren’t actually taking place. 😛
None of this seems to be anything us techies haven’t seen before. Time Warner Cable’s quarterlies once again pointed to traditional video entertainment services bleeding subscribers while broadband continues to take center stage. I heard Comcast was in the same boat, but despite everything that’s going on it’s still See No Technological Change Hear No Technological Change among the various analysts getting time on TV. Amidst the big business ostrich-ing though I came across a rather radical idea from one of the comments not on one of these blog entries, but others on similar topics.
What if one day content providers decide to stop playing these negotiation games with Pay TV services and just bypass them completely?
The analysts saying the times aren’t changing can say whatever they want. The fact remains, there’s still a market somewhere under all of this ridiculous bureaucracy and at the end of the day, customers need to still actually want to buy the services despite all these Wall Street types being utterly disdainful towards customers, not the first time I’ve seen anyone in these companies treating customers like cattle instead of human beings as if consumers will be herded all over the place no matter what the industry decides to do.
“Oh, the dropoff in video subscribers is slowing…” Really? When I hear statements like this all I can think of is a World War 2 movie that takes place after D-Day where Allied troops are liberating European towns from Nazi tyranny and as they walk into town propaganda loudspeakers are blaring that the Axis somehow is still winning the war. 😛 Okay, so the industry with an outdated business model is pulling every shenanigan in the book to stop the inevitable change in how people are entertained electronically but is only slowing down the inevitable. How again is that good news?
Sure some content companies are realizing that they can make more money by zombifying traditional TV than embracing alternative services like Netflix, but how sustainable do they really think these “higher revenue levels” are going to be? Eventually, enough of the legions of people out there who have less money than ever before will say enough’s enough, make the hard choice to find some way to live without traditional TV service, and at some point Pay TV providers and content companies will hit that wall where TV is no longer so far ahead of some of these other sources revenue-wise. Then what? Comcast and friends end up on Capitol Hill crying for subsidies because they’re “too big to fail”?
For us techies, we already know what we’re up against. The content industry has bucked around and kicked against the bricks against technological advance after technological advance after technological advance, and every single time they’ve eventually gotten over it, stopped throwing their hissy fit, and tried to work with the new technology rather than opposing it. The question now is, when will that happen here?
In the meantime, let’s grab some popcorn and see how desperate these analysts get in their efforts to paint a rosy picture of how the times really aren’t a-changin’ and how their Titanic really isn’t sinking. Some of Stop The Cap!‘s embedded footage had some of that going on. Netflix is a paywall? HA! Anything to be able to make a point I see. 😛 Not much of a paywall if I pay $8/month for Netflix instead of $80/month for souped up cable with tons of channels I barely watch before being able to watch something online. 😛