Media And Viewers: Both Wasted

It’s nice to have billionaires looking out for us -- especially when facing the death of TV.

“I’m tired of the majors screwing you, screwing me, and screwing the entire industry, by trying to shut down progress,” said Alki David, founder/chief executive officer of Internet-delivered TV service FilmOn.

Meanwhile, broadcast networks, major cable networks, and TV providers like Time Warner Cable continue to lose business -- viewers, ratings and/or subscribers.

For media companies, large and small, it’s important to make progress and to give people not so fortunate what they really need: cheaper entertainment.   (Still, food, housing, fossil fuels and health care might be a tad more important.)

Let’s drill down further to what is really needed entertainment-wise. Unlimited choice at a cheap price? Sounds like that runs counter to TV economics -- make that, any economics.



Then there is usage -- TV and otherwise. A new research report shows that in some areas, 80%  of consumers don’t come close to fully using all their Internet capacity.

Still, we see comments like this one from Tony Wible, an analyst with Janney Capital Markets: "Broadband is the gatekeeper to the cloud… "There's insatiable demand for broadband."

The reason for the discrepancy could be that not everyone is using equally. For example Netflix usage sucks up to 30% of U.S. bandwidth for just 1% of the population.

Couple this with other longtime TV research showing that of hundreds of available channels, viewers watch from five to nine of them on average. We have is a blind eye in following what entertainment consumers are really doing. Other studies show an additional disconnect: People who own smart TVs use hardly any Web features.

All this suggests that TV, now and in the near term, seems to be a medium of some waste. No problem there. The issue is the size of the spillage.

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