One of those recent dreams came with Aereo -- the defunct digital Internet-delivered TV service -- where customers came running. Turns out that in the last six months of its existence, even with the big media sharks looking to take Aereo down. Aereo grew its subscriber base by 40%, to 108,000 subscribers in 14 cities.
Aereo’s price was between $8 and $12 a month -- far less than the $80 to $100 a month traditional pay TV providers offer.
Now you can see why the likes of CBS, Sony, Dish and HBO are looking to start their own Internet TV services with a similarly low price point. For example, the CBS All Access cloud-based service is priced at $5.99 a month.
How to sustain such services? CBS All Access service, for example, doesn’t include NFL programming, which will eliminate a huge segment of overall TV viewership. Consumers might balk at other services if, for example, they don’t include local TV stations/outlet, weather, or other high-profile programming.
Consumers show no signs of losing their appetite for media and entertainment, but price issues continue, which might make it confusing to big media sellers. How many different business model directions should they be going into to hold on to their entertainment consumers?
Sony dramatically shifted gears from its intended wide-screen theatrical release to digital distribution of “The Interview,” where again price came into play: The movie cost $5.99 on digital platforms. versus the over-$8 average price for a theatrical movie ticket.
Sure, this wasn’t a “Hobbit” or “Transformers” movie. Should the same circumstances surround those big franchise films, it might have been a different story. But this does speak to the fast-changing entertainment arena.