Cutting the Cable

It is not news that people are cutting the cable to video services.  According to studies by Oriella PR Network, the loss of viewers and listeners for print/tv/radio was 26.33% in 2010, and this shows no sign of stopping in 2011.  Advertising income is also down 22.03%.  The number of print publications/radio/TV Channels that are being taken off the market is up 52.58% with 17.77% already off the market and 14.23% switching to online delivery in 2010.

Cutting the cable means that more and more people are getting their television from what we have called “Over the Top” video delivery – delivery via the Internet.  New set top boxes from Boxee Box, Apple TV, Roku provide access to content like Netflix, Vudu and Youtube.  Television manufacturers such as Sony are proving interfaces directly on the television itself.  Controlling what you watch, when you watch it is the core concept behind these digital video services.

The problems with cutting the cable are obvious, but will soon be conquered:

  • Watching live sports
  • Watching news that is live or breaking (careful, CNN already seems to play one Anderson Cooper show over and over each day – sorry Anderson)
  • Watching live shows such as the Oscars

But these are not always impediments.  For example, on the Casey Anthony Court Trial, the HLN coverage was live, if not filled with drama enhancing hosts and poorly timed commercials.  A much better uninterrupted feed could be found on the Internet.  We are also likely to see the hacks that allow live streaming on the set top boxes today becoming real features in the very near future.

The number of shows now delivered over the Internet is growing immensely.  These are often less expensive to produce and distribute, therefore avoiding the complex and extremely expensive licensing issues that are driving content resellers nuts.  It is likely that the rising costs of distribution licensing will simply accelerate the adoption of alternative content sourcing and cutting the cable.

What does this mean for the Internet?  Simple: more bandwidth needs at the end user as the number of video watching points is going to rise and the dependency on the Internet for video programming is already showing signs of serious market acceleration.

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