Thursday, December 12, 2013

Cable Programmer Moving Toward Streaming Distribution

Given the high barriers to launching on a cable system, coupled with continual talk about even more cable operator consolidation, one cable network seems to have heeded my advice and struck a streaming platform deal.  "Bloomberg TV launched an app on Apple TV devices Wednesday morning that includes a live feed of the cable networks financial news programming as well as access to on-demand videos."  Most important to note is that this distribution deal does not require a user to be an authenticated cable customer. Other smaller, independent networks might just want to look at the Bloomberg model and see if perhaps they too have more to gain by gaining distribution on these OTT platforms.

Bloomberg contends that this deal is not meant to cause cord cutting and I would agree.  It certainly helps those consumers that have already cut the cord to gain a live linear news network into their home, but it won't be the driver that causes customers to cut the cord in the first place.  Consumers are defecting cable because of price and access to cheaper streaming options like Netflix and Amazon. Access to Bloomberg TV only adds more content to their mix.  A good number of customers are retaining their cable subscription and expanding their selection with streaming.  Those consumers can now finally receive the Bloomberg TV signal.

For Apple TV, these new content deals are a way to make their box a more valuable addition to the home.  In addition to Bloomberg TV, "Apple also added Disney’s Watch ABC app, Sony’s Crackle and the Korean TV app KORTV to the Apple TV Wednesday."  It also helps Apple to drive the value of its $99 box and encourage more purchases within its iTunes library.  And for both Apple and Blomber, I see a win on both sides. 

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