Tag Archives: cord cutters

MTV desperately wants to reach millennials, but the VMAs are proof they’re doing it wrong

photo: Mario Anzuoni, Reuters

I was willing to tolerate Miley and her tongue in order to enjoy the rest of this year’s show—maybe she’s this generation’s Max Headroom?—and figured it would be no problem, since MTV knows millennials don’t pay for cable and watch everything on the Internet. I was reassured by announcements of an “All Access Livestream” on MTV’s website, and at 9 pm EST, I opened my laptop. What I found—instead of the show everyone was already tweeting about—was a grid of low-quality live feeds, including one featuring a woman who appeared to be a publicist unaware of being filmed, walking down a corridor, which was as riveting as it sounds. – Jenni Avins, Quartz

Cable companies are still trying to adapt to the streaming video trend

photo: CBS

Cablevision, which serves more than 3 million people around the New York City Metro area, has announced that it will offer Internet-only customers the opportunity to easily subscribe to streaming video options from CBS, including CBS All Access and Showtime. […] And while the Cablevision and CBS deal might not affect Apple directly, it does show that networks and the cable providers are finally beginning to see the light of day regarding a growing desire for streaming video options instead of expensive cable packages with channels no one watches. – Brent Dirks, AppAdvice

Cable-Only Presidential Debates are the New Poll Tax

photo: Darko Pevec, Flickr

Here’s the big story behind this. The linear — traditional — model of TV is crumbling, slowly, as more people find programming they’re happy with online. But sports programming remains the Gibraltar of the pay TV bundle: the bedrock, the real-time, must-have stuff that Americans will still pay for. And so pay TV executives, looking to smooth the obvious glide path sloping towards the irrelevance of thick bundles of TV-plus-data just long enough so their retirements will be secure and well-funded, want to turn new categories of programming into sports. Presto: debates become sports, unavailable in livestream form to anyone who doesn’t have a cable or satellite subscription. – Susan Crawford, BackChannel via Medium

Wall Street Turns Off TV: How to Fix the Stock Slide

photo: The Hollywood Reporter

The skinny bundle is a phenomenon born of the fact that U.S. households have been paying for an average of 194 channels while only watching 17 of them, according to Nielsen. As for cord-cutting, MoffettNathanson says the number of households that have dropped pay TV (coupled with new households that never bothered to subscribe) has grown to 2 million. The pay TV sector was shrinking at an annual rate of 0.1 percent a year ago, though this year it has shot up to 0.7 percent. And several analysts are encouraging conglomerates to hedge bets with investments in digital media. Viacom has kicked the tires on the likes of Funny or Die, CollegeHumor and The Onion, while Comcast is considering stakes in Vice Media, BuzzFeed and others. – Paul Bond, The Hollywood Reporter

Tablo Users To Get More Hard Drive Space and Other Features

Besides support for larger hard drives than the current limit of 2TB the update will also include new features to make the experience more user friendly including expansion of fast forwarding and close captioning support for Mac/PC Android tablets and TV’s as well as the Amazon Fire TV. Users will also be able to clean up their expanded hard drives with the ability to delete episodes of a specific series, delete watched content or even purge the entire list at once. The new deleting options will be available for TabloTV apps on Mac, PC, Android TV, Android tablets, Amazon Fire TV and (soon) to Roku. – Ryan Michael Downey, The Streaming Advisor

Silicon Dust To Launch HDHomeRun DVR Software

[U]nlike Tablo, HDHomeRun offers both over-the-air (OTA) and CableCARD tuners… making this a whole lot more versitile for those of us unwilling to cut the cord. Given the sunsetting of Windows Media Center and the hot mess that is Simple.TV (powered by SiliconDust), it’s not so surprising they would venture into software and services to round out their offerings. – Dave Zatz, Zatz Not Funny

Cord Cutters Near 15 Million Households

When cable companies report subscribers, non only does it include home subscribers, but business subscribers as well. This in effect skews the data in regard to cord cutters. For example, let’s assume a cable company suffers a large amount of cancellations from residential subscribers. However, that same company has an equal number of new business able subscriptions. The final result will appear as though no one cut the cord.

Thankfully, Nielsen provides data based on residential households. I find those numbers much more relevant to the number of people ditching cable and cutting the cord. The numbers released in September showed over 14 million TV watching households live without cable, and about 8 million of those are using a set top streaming device. That’s a lot of cord cutters. Certainly more than many media outlets would lead us to believe. – Dennis Restauro,Grounded Reason 

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Is It The Beginning Of The End For Cable Or Just A New Beginning?

Contrary to prevailing wisdom, there’s some compelling evidence to suggest that HBO and CBS’s streaming services might actually be a boon for pay TV. As Will Richmond of VideoNuze recently articulated, the simplicity and cost-effectiveness of traditional cable bundles could very well become more attractive to consumers in the face of proliferating streaming services whose fees will start to add up. What’s more, this could help pave the way for the virtual pay TV services from the likes of Verizon and DISH by helping to raise awareness of other over-the-top (OTT) offerings. Rather than a binary future with cord-cutters on one end and cable subscribers on the other, we can start to see a continuum of behavior take shape, with a middle ground populated by individuals who subscribe to one or two streaming services, along with a lightweight cable package like the one that Comcast rolled out last year. – Braxton Jarratt,TechCrunch 
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Is it finally time to cut cable?

[W]e felt like we were being taken advantage of. We paid for 160 channels, but we really only watched shows on 20 of them at most. (Yes, I’m aware of how the cable TV industry’s bundling business model works. Still doesn’t erase the feeling.) By cutting cable out of our monthly bills, we figured we would save roughly $60 per month. Sure, we still pay Comcast for our Internet service, but it’s a service we value and thus don’t mind paying for. […] The number of subscribers ditching cable service is on the rise—hundreds of thousands ditch it every quarter—and with recent announcements from HBO, CBS, and Lions Gate to offer stand-alone streaming plans, the movement is gaining more momentum. But there’s still work to be done. – Jason Cipriani,Fortune Magazine

Never say never: why TV networks are suddenly ready to unbundle

It’s because TV Everywhere failed Networks like CBS have all invested a lot of money into TV Everywhere products, which let consumers catch up on shows as long as they have a pay TV subscription. TV Everywhere has been riddled with problems since the beginning, leaving many customers frustrated as they scramble to find their cable password before a big game begins. To their credit, networks and their technology providers have been making some progress on making TV Everywhere easier to use, but it’s still far from being a mainstream product. At the beginning of the year, only 17 percent of consumers even knew what TV Everywhere was. […], but there is no denying that consumers are moving towards online services, and a lot faster than many had predicted. For years, the mantra of many in the industry has been that the American household watches five hours of regular TV a day, but little to no online video, and that mainstream consumers simply weren’t cutting the cord, now or ever. However, in late 2014, it’s becoming increasingly clear that consumer behavior is massively shifting[.] – Janko Roettgers,Gigaom
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