Maybe Millennials Don't Want Skinny TV Bundles

Despite all the hoopla around cheap internet-based $20-a-month live, linear TV packages, the jury is still out. That's especially true among millennials.

What if those young viewers -- perhaps with less-than-adequate resources or decent-paying jobs -- want something even cheaper?  

Maybe they just want a digital TV antenna for a one-time cost of $20-- one where you can get a bunch of local stations with TV network programming. A Wall Street Journal article on Wednesday raised that concern.

Seems the real “must-have” long-term media service/device is a mobile phone, maybe with a plan as cheap as $30 or $40 a month.

On a vacation trip back to California, a young female air traveler, definitely in her 20s, sat in front of me. She asked the passenger next to her if she could borrow a phone -- to call her relatives and confirm pickup.

Why was this millennial without a phone? (Could she be scamming that passenger?) Once I ruled out any nefarious activity, I thought of another scenario. Maybe a mobile phone commitment was just too much for her.



The big sell around “skinny TV” bundles is low cost. TV, media and phone companies hope this will be enough of a draw for long-term behavior commitment.

But some studies believe that is the wrong equation. The issues isn't price, but alternatives. A survey from Videology earlier this year found only one-third of millennial males plan to pay for television this year, with 9% saying they plan to cancel their cable subscriptions.

Instead, it's about having near-term options: monthly, weekly, daily. If millennials are going to pay for anything TV-wise, it might just be Netflix, Amazon and Hulu. Basically, any service that is available a la carte -- and can be cancelled at anytime.

TV executives should stop thinking of the digital future like an easy chair. Don’t get too comfortable -- a sharp spring could await.

2 comments about "Maybe Millennials Don't Want Skinny TV Bundles".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, August 4, 2017 at 9:19 a.m.

    Good points, Wayne. Makes sense.

  2. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, August 4, 2017 at 7:39 p.m.

    Goes futher than millenials, too. Cable companies do not stick to their contract deals either.

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