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  #1  
Old 07-30-2013, 05:35 AM
pjpjpjpj pjpjpjpj is offline
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Yet another "TV is changing!" article

The Wall Street Journal seems intent on beating this horse to death. Seems like they have a few writers assigned to cover TV-related tech topics and whenever there's no news, they just write another of these articles. Yeah, yeah, we know, lots of companies are looking at trying to provide "a la carte" streaming TV.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...ch_LEFTTopNews

But within their "things are changing!" articles, they always manage to slide in the truth - that things aren't really moving forward due to contractual issues with content providers. Seems like they're hoping you'll miss it, since it sorta negates the whole point of the article. See the following from the story linked above:
Quote:
Negotiations with media companies for content rights could delay new services and limit some features, though Intel vows to enter some markets by the end of the year.
Quote:
Despite the developments, much is missing from Internet-based services. Popular programming, including live sports and news, is often limited to conventional carriers by licensing restrictions.
Quote:
Whatever the name, Intel and others planning to create new Internet-based services are widely expected to face tough sledding in negotiating rights for video content. Such companies are in a position to demand lucrative terms, says James McQuivey, an analyst who tracks TV technology for Forrester Research.
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  #2  
Old 07-31-2013, 10:23 AM
brainbone brainbone is offline
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Yes, but as viewership continues to drop, and uptake of online content continues to rise, the shift from traditional delivery for TV to streaming services becomes inevitable. It's not "if", it's "when".

Of course conventional carriers will resist this in every way possible, but eventually, for better or worse, they will lose.
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  #3  
Old 07-31-2013, 11:01 AM
pjpjpjpj pjpjpjpj is offline
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Originally Posted by brainbone View Post
Yes, but as viewership continues to drop, and uptake of online content continues to rise, the shift from traditional delivery for TV to streaming services becomes inevitable. It's not "if", it's "when".

Of course conventional carriers will resist this in every way possible, but eventually, for better or worse, they will lose.
While I agree with this concept, for every 18- or 21-year old buying their first "place of their own" and scoffing at the idea of paying for cable, or 28-year-old dropping cable after having it his whole life previously, there's a 35-year-old single mom who doesn't have the time or tech knowledge to even think about getting content any other way than the stupid box that the cable guy hooked up for her. I suspect there are as many of the former types out there as the latter. And the latter is going to be alive a long time.

The ultimate question in all of this is the importance of having content "real time", or when it's originally aired. While you can get lots of streaming TV networks online "bootleg" (illegally), the majority of people aren't that tech savvy, or aren't willing to watch poor quality streams, or don't want to trust the reliability of those streams. So really, the online content that would replace cable TV is the archived stuff that's "official" and available free on the networks' websites, or through places like netflix and hulu. With the DVR lifestyle becoming more entrenched, more and more people don't care about seeing something on the night it airs. The old "morning after water cooler talk" has gone away, replaced with "shhh, don't tell me, I DVR'ed it!" So that leaves sports. And too much of that is only available through pay TV, so they still have that stranglehold.

But how does that affect the concept of a la carte TV being offered? In many ways, it doesn't. The only effect of this is weakening the behemoths' hold on TV content. If they have less households, the networks have more negotiating power. If the behemoths can't promise as many households to a network, maybe eventually an a la carte provider will be able to work out a financially realistic deal with those networks to provide their content.

The only people who really know how far we are from this occurring are the insiders who negotiate the deals between networks and pay-TV providers. My guess is there's still a long, long way to go before a company like Time Warner loses enough homes that a power player like HBO or ESPN is willing to risk losing TW's homes in exchange for selling their content a la carte elsewhere.

I also suspect, as the current trend continues, we'll see Time Warner and Comcast continue to buy more and more networks, thus preventing them from ever being available elsewhere at a cheap rate.
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  #4  
Old 08-01-2013, 10:12 AM
brainbone brainbone is offline
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Originally Posted by pjpjpjpj View Post
I also suspect, as the current trend continues, we'll see Time Warner and Comcast continue to buy more and more networks, thus preventing them from ever being available elsewhere at a cheap rate.
This is likely the largest current and growing obstacle. However, viewership will still drop as the traditional TV audience dies off. Eventually, streaming services will have the upper hand, with more to offer content creators -- including live events.

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Originally Posted by pjpjpjpj View Post
While you can get lots of streaming TV networks online "bootleg" (illegally), the majority of people aren't that tech savvy, or aren't willing to watch poor quality streams, or don't want to trust the reliability of those streams.
Piracy is irritating for some, but it is not widespread enough to really be an issue for either traditional TV delivery or streaming -- save a few niche areas, like sci-fi, where the majority of your audience is able, and to a lesser extent, willing, to obtain programming through alternate means. Even then, in most cases piracy is free advertizing. Piracy of media, software, what-have-you, is most damaging to competitors (even if the competitor is free/opensource/cc) -- since they stand to lose market share to the pirated product.
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  #5  
Old 08-01-2013, 07:26 PM
briands briands is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brainbone View Post
This is likely the largest current and growing obstacle. However, viewership will still drop as the traditional TV audience dies off. Eventually, streaming services will have the upper hand, with more to offer content creators -- including live events.



Piracy is irritating for some, but it is not widespread enough to really be an issue for either traditional TV delivery or streaming -- save a few niche areas, like sci-fi, where the majority of your audience is able, and to a lesser extent, willing, to obtain programming through alternate means. Even then, in most cases piracy is free advertizing. Piracy of media, software, what-have-you, is most damaging to competitors (even if the competitor is free/opensource/cc) -- since they stand to lose market share to the pirated product.
What???? Where are the benefits to the content creator of this "free advertising"? Where do you park your car? I'd like to give you some free advertising while I use it to commute to work.

Last edited by briands; 08-01-2013 at 07:30 PM.
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  #6  
Old 08-02-2013, 10:21 AM
Taddeusz Taddeusz is offline
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Originally Posted by briands View Post
What???? Where are the benefits to the content creator of this "free advertising"? Where do you park your car? I'd like to give you some free advertising while I use it to commute to work.
I believe it's been shown in multiple studies that people who pirate are more likely to buy. You would think that would be counter intuitive but I believe it comes down to the fact that people don't want to spend their hard earned money on something they don't value. Kind of a try-before-you-buy mentality.
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  #7  
Old 08-02-2013, 12:47 PM
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Skirge01 Skirge01 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taddeusz View Post
I believe it's been shown in multiple studies that people who pirate are more likely to buy. You would think that would be counter intuitive but I believe it comes down to the fact that people don't want to spend their hard earned money on something they don't value. Kind of a try-before-you-buy mentality.
I buy that argument for music or software, but I'm not so sure it applies to TV. I know there are people out there who buy entire seasons, but I don't think they're the ones illegally downloading them first.
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  #8  
Old 08-02-2013, 01:15 PM
brainbone brainbone is offline
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Originally Posted by Skirge01 View Post
I buy that argument for music or software, but I'm not so sure it applies to TV. I know there are people out there who buy entire seasons, but I don't think they're the ones illegally downloading them first.
It's a mixture of reasons. Many that pirate will eventually tire of it and just pay, if they enjoy the product. Also, the pirates will usually talk to their friends and/or colleagues about how much they enjoy the product. The latter applying more to TV series.

Where piracy does cause true negatives are; competitors (see previous post), or for products that really don't have competition or have fully reached market saturation (very unusual).


Quote:
Originally Posted by briands View Post
Where do you park your car? I'd like to give you some free advertising while I use it to commute to work.
Piratable media is not the same as physical objects. There is usually not a measurable direct net loss for the distributor, producer or publisher of the media (unless the pirate is re-selling that product), and plenty of studies show there is often a gain.

This does not mean that piracy should be legal, far from it. The illegality of piracy is an impetus for consumers to purchase the product. However, in most cases, the monetary damages claimed by publishers are ridiculously over-estimated. Mandatory community service would be a far more fitting sentence more often than not.

Regardless, my intention was not the derail the topic. I was simply pointing out that piracy doesn't really have a measurable positive or negative impact in pushing the vast majority of consumers to either streaming or traditional TV services. Cost of service, availability of content, ease of use and reliability are the main drivers.

Last edited by brainbone; 08-02-2013 at 01:38 PM.
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