Thursday, March 12, 2015

Commercial-Free Streaming Services Hurting Cable

We have watched as cable television has, almost purposely, tried to kill itself.  Money seems a powerful aphrodisiac and the desire to squeeze as much of it as possible has turned consumers away.  Where broadcast TV offered viewers free content in exchange for watching ads, cable TV existed on a diet of both subscription fees and ad dollars.  Broadcasters became jealous and moved from must carry status to retransmission consent in exchange for license fees too.  Cable then found more ways to add revenue from adding more ad spots per hour to squeezing content together to open more ad time.  Everything from running end credits and opening credits simultaneously to now speeding up actual content of shows.   Unfortunately, greed is not good.

What started as a slow erosion of cable subscribers off television has led to alternatives that deliver content, complete, unfiltered, and without interruption.  Technology has helped to disrupt the TV game and homes are increasingly changing their routines.  Per the Nielsen results in the NY Post,
  • "The amount of time US viewers spend watching live TV has plummeted by 20 minutes a day since 2013;
  • Homes with subscription streaming services are watching 50 minutes of TV a day more than those without;
  • Subscription video services are now in 40.3 percent of households"
According to the research, since 2012 cable operators have seen almost 5 million households drop their cable subscription packages.  Broadband connections are now more essential to the home than cable.  And as more content finds its way to streaming services, viewers will find more reasons to devote more time to streaming choices. 

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