What is the Future of TV?

Here is a topic that is sure to get your mind racing and have you seriously question everything that you have known about for most of your lives.

What is the Future of TV?

I don’t mean the future of TV as in 3d technology, laser technology, 6000″ screens, and 1/3333333th” screens. I am talking about the actual medium in which you watch television and the juggernauts that ‘run’ TV. yes, i am talking about Comcast, DirecTV and i guess i have to throw in there DISH Network (even though they aren’t as relevant).

Ever increasing bills associated with the big 3 and how they deliver content are forcing consumers to find new and creative ways to see the shows they want, without having to foot the massive cost to watch. HULU tried and streamed a large number of shows a week or so after they aired live. Obviously, they couldn’t get all of the networks to get on board and still left consumers clamoring for a more robust tool.

Don’t forget about the best thing to happen to TV series since well umm… the TV…. Netflix. Not only did Netflix change the way that we consumer movies in general, but it changed the way that we consume TV shows. I watched entire series(es?) on Netflix and was not even subscribed to the channel in which they first aired. Netflix or consumers didn’t know this, but this changed the game.

O and it didn’t stop there… The inception of GoogleTV, Roku, AppleTV and the like are providing consumers with a lower cost way to consumer content.

Add the fact that Amazon is now in the game offering a streaming service (a la Netflix) and is VERY serious about the space and is willing to basically give it away. Wait… give away movies and TV content that people are paying in excess of $2k for a year? that is blaphemy. ooo no, it is the new world order of TV.

Should Cable companies and Satellite companies be worried? Yes.

Should networks be worried? You would think yes, but i think no… if they follow the HBO lead. 

What about offering an a la carte service for their shows to stream online? Obviously connected devices such as TVs, gaming devices, and blu ray/DVD players are just adding an additional pipeline to the internet.

Consumers are increasingly viewing 2 or more screens simultaneously and is it me, or does the TV (in the traditional sense) feel like a relic in our hyper connected world. instead of having to broadcast your hashtag or facebook address all over the screen and require one additional albeit substantial action for the consumer to use their other screen and convert on your request, you can just have a live ticker on the side of your screen and merge the 2 screens. I honestly haven’t heard anyone talking about this action but why not?

Why add more screens to our arsenal when we could consolidate and just have everything on 1? we are already doing that with our mobile device blending the desktop/laptop/tablet world onto 1 device, so why not with the TV?

back to my point of TV. If HBO would offer a service for lets say…. $7.99/month (this price point appears to work…) to watch new runs, reruns, and on demand access, anytime you want through your connected device? this is where TV can be saved from its inevitable demise.

But here is a reality check….

Is it me or are cable and satellite companies just a middle man? they are a distributor of content… not the creators. The Makers movement is showing everyone that you can make anything and be a creator… not a distributor. everything is about going DIRECT to the manufacturer. So why do we need cable and satellite companies anymore?

Networks are the creators and they are the ones responsible for garnering eyeballs…. the distributors are there just to show content with no real accountability.

If networks would just cut the cord and use this tactic to actually control their demand and market penetration, it gives them the ability to value add and provide that Purple Cow…. similar to what Amazon is doing with Prime and basically everything else they touch. Networks should take a lesson and it could quite possibly save their business and bottom line. Why do they consistently stay on board of a sinking ship?

Networks could use this to drive their online space and sell merchandise very easily, partner with sponsors to provide a more robust advertising campaign and perhaps might actually extend TV advertisements into a new market (i.e. Small and Mid size businesses)…. this could be the resurrection of network advertising and completely blends the online and offline space perfectly.

One more thought before i step off the soapbox. What is the biggest hurdle for networks? time slots. they are the Boardwalk and Park Place of TV and they bank so much on the primetime slots and are competing directly with all of the other networks. If you have this digital consumption model, you are not limited to the constraints of time slots and able to be creative and try multiple shows that are fringe and different with very low investment. Hmmm… I am not a network exec or anything but… you know… just a thought.

I think that this was the ideal that Google was looking for when they made the Google TV Ads platform (which they just killed) but obviously ran into the roadblock of networks stuck in the yesteryear and getting their lunch ate by digital consumption of content.

Own the space and be a frontrunner or find new and creative ways to cut costs and play the lottery on a few select shows.

This is a topic i could go on and on about forever because it just makes sense…. and i find it so difficult to understand why nobody else has talked about this? Ok other than Mitch Joel

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