You don’t need to be an expert to see that the writing is on the wall for pay-TV. The moves made by big businesses show us a future where everyone’s cord-cutting and juggling between streaming services. Its last hope was live sports.
Regular sports viewers made up 60% of current pay-TV subscribers.MoffettNathanson – via Bloomberg
The increased prominence of streaming and live TV services included therein at fractional costs are rendering pay-TV contracts obsolete. In other words, this Bloomberg report suggests 40 percent of pay-TV customers are at risk of cord-cutting.
It’s no wonder Apple launched Apple TV+, Disney put out Disney+ and Amazon and Netflix continue to invest heavily in original content. These cutting-edge companies are ahead of the curve.
Plus, Wednesday’s official CBS-Viacom merger may even lead to another new streaming service. CBS is among the most iconic pay-TV brands, yet should see its own streamer, CBS All Access, expand on the strength of this merger.
Despite best attempts to hold on, big-business TV providers are flailing, and now their tight grip is sweaty from the fight. The sports we love are slipping free, and will in the not-so-distant future be fully integrated into the streaming service ecosystem.
- MLB digital rights split from broadcast
- Best sport games streaming this week
- ESPN+ NHL package should boost league
It’s more than live sports
If their problem was only the loss of live sports, pay-TV may prevent a cord-cutting future. But the bigger evolution has been how we consume content.
- Disney+ app download 1 million times a day
- Hulu Basic should be free not on sale
- New York professor predicts streaming war winners
Streaming services liberated shows and movies from restrictive schedules and controlling decision-makers. It’s been reported by Deadline this week that Netflix is in 300 million homes worldwide. You cannot put that genie (demand) back in its lamp.
Maybe in time there will be nostalgia for TV guides, watersheds, and series reminders, but it’s unlikely. Every facet of pay-TV is the opposite of what people now demand: convenience and immediacy.
Only a matter of time (moving money)
The certainty over pay-TV’s impending collapse is driving big and rapid change. Look at the stock market, the wild nature of content acquisitions, or the re-factoring of business priorities. It’s all evidence in the gutting and abandonment of pay-TV.
- Roku stock up 370% this year (CNBC)
- Shows moving in 2020, including wild acquisition prices
- Disney puts streaming service over its merchandise
It’s just that the powers that be can’t admit it, because it would be bad for their existing business interests. A status quo is needed. If cords were cut before big companies had their eggs in the right baskets, it would have left Netflix (and Amazon) in a position to become all-powerful. Even now they’re so far out in front.
- Netflix is spending six times more on content than Disney+
- A physical market for Netflix to dominate in
- Netflix flexing muscle with acquisitions
The king is dead, long live the king
Benjamin Franklin once said there were only two things certain in life: death and taxes. With all roads leading to streaming, that phrase needs a future proof update. There are only three things certain in life: death, taxes, and streaming.
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