TV distribution is moving online. Just chat with anyone who has spent some time playing with both Hulu and Netflix and they’ll confirm that they’re compelling platforms. For a low charge of approx $8 a month, US residents can access an all-you-can-eat service with thousands of movies and TV shows streamed live to your Connected TV, or a connected device (ie Boxee Box, Apple TV, Wii, PS3, Xbox 360). With so much entertainment available at such a low cost, what is the value of a $100+ cable TV subscription?
Cable companies in the US are keen to stop any ‘cord-cutting’ from taking place. With most of the US cable companies also operating as ISP’s, they may just have the power to control the switch-off. The Wrap today reports on ISP’s in the US introducing data caps to curb the increase in data transmitted online. The side-effect being that such data charges are likely to also curb the cord-cutters. With streaming video lower quality than cable TV’s HD offerings, Netflix (for example) might be cheap, but it’ll also continue to look cheap.
US data allowances are beginning to echo what we experience here in Australia. Whilst data costs continue to be prohibitive and few services offer quota-free access, IPTV services are going to be experience relatively low take-up rates.
The television revolution is upon us. It just isn’t going to be cheap for sometime.