In a “sky is falling” post today titled, “Americans are staring to cut the cable TV cord...” the latest data on cable TV subscribers is highlighted as proof of the death of TV. For the last three Quarters, pay TV subscriptions are down. While the numbers are not huge, the are showing a drop off. This is good news for streaming services like Netflix, Amazon, hulu plus and smart TVs like Samsung and devices like Roku.
It is entirely too early to say a burp in growth means an end to big pay TV providers. The wishful thinking in the digital community is naive and adolescent. What you can say is that the way in which people consume video is evolving and pay TV providers know that the growth in streaming and smart TVs as well as the device on which people consume video has not been exclusive to a TV in the living room for a while now. How the pay TV and networks evolve to get their quality video content in front of the eyeballs that crave good video entertainment may remain to be seen.
Average time spent watching TV dropped only sightly from 2012 to 2013 and time spent online increased in 2013 to surpass TV, but that isn’t a reflection of time spent watching video content.
The safe bet is for people to stop calling it the death of TV and begin calling it video consumption. People will consume video content, they want quality content and they want it free (or ad supported)…for the time being. Let’s figure out where and how they want it and focus on getting it to them instead of trying to scare the broadcast folks into an early retirement.