Why Cable TV Subscribers Are Making It Miserable To Cut The Cord

This is what I look like waiting for TV shows to be released on Netflix. Not really – this is what I look like all the time. Image Credit – BigStock

There’s a new report out this week (to be filed in the “Duh” folder…right next to “No Kidding”) showing that some 2.6 million cable television subscribers cancelled their service in favor of Internet-based streaming services between 2008 and 2011.

Reported by Slashdot, Yahoo and others this morning, Canadian research firm Convergence Consulting Group summarized the following from their…well, research:

“We estimate 112,000 TV subscribers were added in 2011, down from 272,000 in 2010, and forecast 185,000 TV sub additions for 2012. 2000-2009 annual TV sub additions averaged 2 million. Based on our TV Cord Cutting Model (takes into account economic conditions, annual subscriber additions, digital transition), we estimate 2.65 million (2.6%) US TV subscribers cut their TV subscriptions 2008-11 to rely solely on Online, Netflix, OTA, etc, 1.05 million (1%) in 2011 alone. We forecast cord cutters will reach 3.58 million year end (3.6%) 2012.”

So, essentially, folks are fleeing traditional television for streaming services in decent numbers, but those numbers seem to be slowing. News reports on this are rounding up the typical line-up of culprits for this dialing-back on the rush to streaming – content limitations of streaming services (a.k.a. ‘ I can’t believe Netflix doesn’t have so-and-so) based on sluggish deals being struck by Netflix and others with studios and networks; and the ultimate price-tag of achieving a more robust catalogue of content will break the cost model for places like Netflix and their service will become prohibitively expensive. [Read more…]

$0.99 Streaming TV Shows in iTunes?

A recent report (which, much like every other report about Apple, means a completely unsupported rumor) regarding the much-talked-about new version Apple TV, claims that lower priced streaming TV shows are on the way to iTunes.

According to sources, Apple is in negotiations with TV producers to allow it to rent shows for $0.99 as opposed to the $1.99 they charge for purchase of shows.  This would work much the same as the current movie rental model.  Once rented, the customer will have 30 days to begin watching the show.  And, once started, the show will expire after 24 hours.

This will essentially place the content in the cloud, where the other heavyweights in this fight are – Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Video-on-demand are all streaming services.  Although, Amazon does offer the option for download.

Not long ago Engadget reported that the next version of Apple TV will run iOS, the same operating system as the iPhone and iPad.  This would almost necessitate streaming as (per Engadget):

The new architecture of the device will be based directly on the iPhone 4, meaning it will get the same internals, down to that A4 CPU and a limited amount of flash storage — 16GB to be exact.

That’s a huge drop-off in storage capacity from the current 160GB hard drive.

This would come on the heals of the new Hulu Plus release, which brings subscription TV to the online masses.  But, it would have more content than Hulu.  HBO shows, among others, would be available.

But, would Apple try to partner with third-party hardware manufacturers the way Hulu and Netflix have?  Or would they continue to make their iTunes offerings available only through PC’s, Macs and Apple hardware?  That may be the key to this market if they really want to be a player.