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TV is TV

People want good stuff to watch, no matter how you label it, writes ANDY MARKEN of Marken Communications



After attending The Pay TV Show a few months ago in Denver, we came to the conclusion that the M&E industry has a huge issue today … and an even huger opportunity.

It can’t figure out what it is, how to label itself or what it wants to be when it grows up.

And surprise, our son and his friends – tomorrow’s big content consumers – could give a rat’s behind.

The other evening, we asked him what he was watching on his phone and in typical cryptic fashion he said, “TV.”

Just to keep the conversation going we said, “Yeah, we can see that but what?”

“Cobra Kai.”

On his way home from school, he had caught up on the news of the day on CBS and then settled in to catch up on Game of Thrones before his newest “gotta watch” show.

And that is why the cable (news, entertainment, sports) bill we were determined to dramatically reduce remains stubbornly at about $100 per month!

It was simpler when we were growing up because everyone huddled around the TV set and watched whatever was on.


Viewing Change – There used to be an excitement of everyone gathering around the TV to watch something. Today, the family may be in the same room but what they’re viewing/doing depends on the screen they’re looking at. Today’s TV is TV, no matter how you’re watching.

We have choices and everyone in the family exercises her/his right to choose what they want to watch, when they want to watch it, how they want to watch it and where they want to watch it.

The only people who care are folks in the M&E industry – analog terrestrial, satellite and cable folks as well as digital terrestrial, satellite, cable people; OTT bundlers/providers; and on the bottom of the pile, the folks who make the stuff…the content creators, developers, producers.

Increasingly, everyone is hellbent on becoming the sole provider of multi-channel services to the household – phone, internet, content.

The business used to be civilized. The cable guy had the pipe to the home and the network folks bundled a bunch of stuff – good, bad, mediocre – and sold it to the cable guy who put it all into an even bigger bundle and they didn’t care if you watched the stuff or not.

As long as you didn’t call ‘em.

To make service better, they went digital and OTT started offering better stuff combined with convenience – on the viewers schedule – and things changed.

Embarrassment of Riches – With the advent of OTT streaming content, people had the option of keeping, shaving, cutting their cable service and choosing their “favourite” service channel. It’s great content but today, no one wants to watch just one channel.

When Netflix, Amazon Prime and YouTube started streaming; our smart TV gave us a choice with stuff on our EPG (electronic program guide and the old cable guide).

People in the content food chain – Hulu, HBO, BBC, Vimeo, Disney, Apple, Sling, Philo, CCTV, PlayStation, Pluto, Fubo, TenCent, Hooq, Iqiyi, Voot, Sky, Viacom, AT&T, Verizon, you name ‘em – envisioned a painless, virtually zero cost way of having direct access to the consumer.

Today, about everyone we know has an embarrassment of riches – hybrid TV.

Click here to read more about how hybrid TV is quickly becoming the method of choice.

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