Trickles of web content to become floods, sweeping away the cable industry? Maybe.

Henry Blodget at Silicon Alley Insider has a good insight about the threat to cable from online feeds, which are now a trickle but could become a flood.    Blodget notes about the agreement between Yahoo and CNET:

… cable companies, meanwhile, depend on monopoly access to networks like CNBC and cannot afford to be circumvented by, say, a live CNBC web feed (lest a web trickle become a flood)…

I think Cable still has a viable future for at least the next 5 years because convergence of media is going to take a lot longer than most think, and if Cable is smart they’ll find ways to be the key broadband conduit into the home as they already are for millions of American homes.    It seems to me that the internet is more threatening to information driven media like newspapers than it is to entertainment driven media.   The is partly just a bandwidth issue – currently it’s not realistic to expect people to buy, configure, and use the fledgling broadband movie services.     How soon will this change?    5+ years in my estimation.   Of course eventually super high bandwidth streaming into most homes will be the likely main paradigm for home entertainment, but this won’t happen for some time.   We are too stubborn to innovate nearly as fast as technology allows.

2 thoughts on “Trickles of web content to become floods, sweeping away the cable industry? Maybe.

  1. The three things that cable needs to do are:

    1. Adjust their rates down to be more competitive. Not just the gimmicky temporary discount, that no savvy consumer buys these days. Its an old trick that is played out.

    2. Cable (Comcast, in particular) continues to lose the information war. Much of this is due to bad information architecture on their site, poor marketing campaigns, and so forth.

    3. Create a system of choosing the channels that you want without being stuck with a bundle of 75 music channels I never use, dozens of sports channels I don’t watch, religious channels I could give a rip about, and home shopping channels that I never even look at. /*I want to choose the channels I pay for*/, and get rid of the rest. One of these days a company is going to figure out that if you give consumers what they want, they will pay you for it. With all of the MBAs floating around looking for billion dollar ideas, surely someone is smart enough to create a business model that accomplishes this single, huge consumer priority…

    I recently switched to Comcast from Qwest for a variety of reasons (primarily work-related, despite my hatred of cable price gouging), and I have to say, my connection is MUCH more stable and much faster than it is with Qwest. And this despite my long-standing impression (based on the blather of marketing done by DSL and satellite companies) that cable modem suffers from more users sharing a single cable. That is true to a degree, but these days, it never falls to the comparably-priced low levels of common DSL. But, Qwest and companies like them are winning the information war, as stated above.

    In fact, the pricing of my Comcast package is the same as my Qwest package, and Qwest does not include television. This was NOT my impression, until I actually spoke with Comcast on the phone.

    And let me reiterate – I HATE cable companies for their deregulated gouging.

    To survive/thrive, cable needs to get it together – get the price down, and get the message out about their offerings and technology superiority. According to the sales person, they are offering 150-200MB down speeds in some areas, today. Compare that to the max 7MB download speed of top-dollar DSL, and even with shared cable technology, cable will likely always be faster.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s