Forbes has more to say in the aftermath of the news of Sony/Intel signing on Viacom cable channels for their new Internet streaming service, which will come with PlayStation4 and their branded TVs:
But for those hoping they’ll be able to pick and choose which channels, note that word “bundle.” There is no chance Sony will offer a la carte channel selection, at least not in any way that offers substantial discounting. In a future post, I’ll go through the ugly math of why you are unlikely to see this from anyone anytime soon, but right now Sony’s problem is that it simply can’t negotiate those kind of deals even if it wanted to. In fact, it will end up paying more for programming than a Comcast or DirecTV because it will not be able to promise the kind of volume those companies offer to programmers. The good news is that programming typically represents about 40% of your cable bill so even if Sony pays a bit more, it can charge less.Well that sucks. I'm not really interested in a channel situation, though. I'd rather have a service that works like Hulu & Netflix where you punch up the show you want to see and have at it. That's too much like cable is currently. I'm still not gonna watch a Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta marathon capped off by a reunion show, it's just not my thing.
(You know what's great over the internet via my Roku box btw, speaking of Viacom? Music videos, a business Viacom used to be in. Vevo on Roku is excellent!)
Two stories at Quartz.com in two days on cutting the cord and the options to fill the void. They say Netflix and Amazon Prime are not enough to replace cable. I agree, for reasons that I think are responded to nicely by adding Hulu. They do make the case however for having news coverage at your fingertips:
Pay television providers are unchallenged by OTT TV in three live TV categories: news, sports, and reality TV. Very few households would choose to drop live TV. This explains why Nielsen’s ZeroTV households, or cord cutters that are not pay TV, subscribers amount to less than 5% of all households.I can watch BBC News videos via an icon on my Samsung Smart Blu-Ray player but it's not live, one really needs live streaming news coverage for certain inevitabilities. Roku does have some live channels so it's possible, but I'm not paying for the news channel I want (I prefer BBC World) as part of a suite of news services that includes, for example less than credible news sources like the Juggalo Action Report or Fox News Channel or The Blaze. That's one of the reasons I'm leaving cable and satellite, I don't want to pay for what I don't want.
Finally, Digital Trends has a piece looking to the future of cord cutting given recent trends:
A closer look at the numbers show what’s really going on. Despite losing customers in Q2 last year, the top 13 cable providers (which represent 94% of the market) gained some in Q3 and Q4 to cushion the blow. But 2012 was big because it marked the first time the cable industry lost a net number of subscribers. All told, 80,000 were gone over the course of the year. Some of that was made up in Q1 2013 with 195,000 added, but as mentioned above, 320,000 left over the three months from April to June. Can such a topsy-turvy trend really indicate that cord-cutting is a serious threat?I think we're picking up steam, we'll see real movement in 2014.
Maybe not “serious” yet, but nonetheless potentially irreversible. Leichtmann Research Group found that the 195,000 number paled in comparison to the 445,000 who jumped on board with cable providers in the same time period in 2012.