Friday, February 10, 2012

Capitalize On The Digital Trend Or Get Left Behind

There are those businesses that are unwilling to see the trend and commit to change before it is too late. Kodak most recently comes to mind as a company that actually invented the digital camera but was afraid to commit to it for fear of losing its film business. Well they lost their film business anyway and are now bankrupt.

The same holds true in the TV business as other platforms for entertainment have grown. There is one thing that will never change. There are only 24 hours in a day. And a good portion of that is spent sleeping. The reminder is divided numerous activities including our entertainment needs. And that time with the TV set has changed. "Americans ages 12 to 34 are spending less time in front of TV sets, even as those 35 and older are spending more, according to research that will be released on Thursday by Nielsen, a company that tracks media use."

Clearly the younger demo is more relevent as their behavior will be tracked longer. "It has long been predicted that these new media would challenge traditional television viewing, but this is the first significant evidence to emerge in research data. If the trends hold, the long-term implications for the media industry are huge, possibly causing billions of dollars in annual advertising spending to shift away from old-fashioned TV."

Cable companies are striking deals to give content access to "authenticated" customers to multiple devices. Most of those devices though are restricted to inside the home. Still it is a first step in keeping customers engaged with their distribution across multiple platforms. Next step though is similar access away from the home. At the same time, this younger base is questioning the value of that product. WHile triple play is valuable to an older demo, the younger generation cares less about a hard line phone; those needs are handled by their smartphone. They care most about broadband access, but whether that comes from their cable provider or from a 3G or free WIFI access will continue to determine who gets their entertainment dollar. And as long as these customers buy a broadband subscription from their cable operator, cable companies should remain profitable.

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