Cable operators might be surprised that their business was never really about TV. Through the decades, cable TV subscriptions have kept declining while operators' other businesses -- and media leverage -- have kept climbing. What are the lessons from cable operator for other media companies, new and traditional? Should they follow similar business logic for the next decade?
With TV stations and cable/satellite/telco operators crying about being in the poorhouse these days, who is actually going out of business?
Live programming is now a "category" for TV programming and for many advertisers. And why not? Marketers say there is no better real-time marketing/media platform than big live TV events. Live programming brings immediacy to viewers, especially when compared with time-shifted programming and produced-in-the-can scripted and reality programming.
Talk show comedian/hosts are ramping up some big attacks on big media -- all for the fun of it, we expect. On his new HBO show "Last Week Tonight," John Oliver took on the issue of net neutrality and wondered where it was all going, with big digital media companies -- Google, Facebook, and Netflix -- cozying up to big TV-media companies like Comcast and other cable companies as well as telco companies, to get better connections and improved speed for their customers. And this would leave others in the slow broadband lane. Oliver likened Comcast to the big monopolies …
The business of locally delivered digital broadcast networks has taken somewhat of a hit: ABC's Live Well network will be pulled in January after more than five years of operation. The network, focused on lifestyle and how-to programming, was carried by ABC's owned-and-operated stations and 50 other stations.
Netflix singled out Verizon specifically for the slow delivery of Netflix's programming. Verizon viewers waiting for a bit of content to load saw this message on their screens, from Netflix: "The Verizon network is crowded right now. Adjusting video for smoother playback."We know streaming video isn't the same as transmission via fiber optic cable or satellite. But for a TV content owner to call out a TV distributor via an on-air message?
Gee, what a shock to one's traditional upfront sensibility. After the digital-heavy "newfronts" and other pre-season "upfront" meetings, where are we now in talking about digital video media stealing money from traditional TV upfront deals? The digital video platforms are waiting for the traditional/linear networks to finish their upfront deal-making. Why? Perhaps it has something to do with the complexity of reach, measurement, comparisons of one site with another, and -- let's not forget -- the ease of traditional TV buying.
In four years, cable's share of the pay TV market is poised to dip under the 50% mark, slipping to some 54 million pay homes out of a total 108 million, according to a new report from PwC. Multiple system cable operators (MSOs) have been the dominant players in the pay TV world for decades. Over the years, they have been joined by satellite providers, telcos, and now a host of digital distribution vehicles.
Who doesn't love smokingly hot new advertising categories? Hardly anyone. Then there are those actual smoking-like hot ad categories, like e-cigarettes. Yes, we are talking about just water vapor -- but perhaps a lot more. People worry that e-cigarettes could be a gateway drug to the real stuff.
Networks all love to blow their horns about how they want to be better and bigger. But there can be limits -- and realities. John Martin, chief executive officer of Turner Broadcasting, has offered some realities in a cautionary memo. He said Turner has some "near-term challenges we're facing" which means "we need to shift resources in some instances." "This may mean staff changes," he added. "In fact, I'll be surprised if it doesn't." Yikes.