photo via skippyjon
Does it seem that every year you make New Year’s resolutions that are logical but never pan-out because of reality? I know that at times I do. It seems that this year I’ve noticed several articles focused on how many want to jettison their cable provider (or at least the TV programming portion) for content delivered over the top – via the Internet.
Sounds great, a more diverse selection of content for a lower price. But here’s the rub… make that rubs. Because resolutions are really about changing habits, adjusting the old and adding new, it is not a ‘do it once’ task.
For the 15 plus years I’ve been around the media & entertainment business studies have shown that people spend a vast majority of their TV viewing time on 10 channels. Whether it was the 75 channel analog era, the 500 plus channel universe of the late 1990, or today’s seemingly unlimited content universe this has remained consistent. Without an external motivator, like cable pricing going to the moon, can people break this deeply ingrained habit?
Humans have always wanted to increase the amount of content of interest at their fingertips. Is it realistic to think that people will cut quality content out of their lives? I would think not. History shows that print didn’t kill storytelling, radio didn’t kill print, and television didn’t kill radio. For this discussion let’s remove channel from our vocabulary and substitute ‘content category’ because today’s TV channels really are an aggregation of similar content. By doing this we then easily see how our (the collective) consumption habits span across mediums. People incorporate the new.
Throw in the current Net Neutrality debate and it should be interesting to see how this all plays out. In his January 3rd article entitled “Are One in Four of You Really Going to Cut Cable and Switch to Web Video?” Peter Kafka summarizes the recent J.P. Morgan report. In your mind is a 25% adoption rate a Tsunami?
Better question, does this just issue in a new generation of curators? Think Netflix, Hulu,, iTunes, et al.