Monday, June 25, 2012

Does Your Cable Operator Provide TV Everywhere?

According to the research, only one in five cable customers know that their provider offers a TV Everywhere experience.  What that means is that few current cable customers know that they can access TV shows through their cable provider's apps on mobile and computer devices.  Not a good sign for those providers that hoped that by finally offering a TV Everywhere experience, their customers would be less likely to cut the cord and go to the web.

For me, I do know that my cable provider offers shows through their app but I, like I assume most others, have gotten conditioned to look elsewhere for my TV Everywhere content.  With iTunes, Hulu, YouTube, Netflix, and others, my cable app is the last place I would think to go too find content.  Add to that my MLB  access and my TV Everywhere experience seems almost complete.  It seems the real challenge for cable operators is that they are so late to the game.  Dish delivers the slingbox experience which makes their access to linear and DVR programming appealing; other cable operators have been reluctant to offer a similar experience.

The other issue and one that really hurts the cable operator today is the rising costs of a cable subscription.  "It’s all about dollars and the perception of value. Cable subscriptions declined 2.7 percent in the first quarter, according to Bernstein data, as cash-strapped consumers look for less expensive TV viewing alternatives."  By not building a differentiated product, consumers can get a similar viewing experience at a much lower cost.  For them, cable programming is a commodity that can be served anywhere.

And so cable operators are facing some real challenges, a service that has lost its value proposition, a product that  is being served cheaper elsewhere, and a next generation consumer that is becoming more oriented to over the top programming.  For cable operators, they may soon find themselves considering a change in the business model, to a dumb pipeline with wired and wireless access for a monthly fee.  With declining profit margins the cable subscription business may finally be losing some steam.

1 comment:

  1. You make a really good point here about consumers not knowing if TV providers have a TV anywhere service. The cool thing about Dish's remote access is that you can buy the sling adapter or even get a receiver that has it built in. This gives customers an opportunity to see the things they’ve recorded on their DVRs when they’re at the doctor’s office with the kids or in an airport during a layover. I love being able to set my DVR on my phone when I’m away from home because I forgot to set it to record the latest episode of Falling Skies. Before I became a dish employee I didn’t know about this type of technology but now that I’ve had the opportunity to try it I’m hooked.