More media competitors are needed to compete with the likes of Netflix and Amazon, according to Rupert Murdoch, News Corp. and 21st Century Fox chairman, speaking at the Wall Street Journal's WSJ.D conference in Laguna Beach, Calif. Then again, don't TV networks like Fox sell their TV programming to the likes of Netflix and Amazon? It may not be part of his industry, but it's a part of his business. Where's the distinction?
So the good news for wannabe Internet TV services is that the head of the Federal Communications Commission likes the idea of giving those services the same access to programming that cable and satellite operators currently enjoy. Chairman Tom Wheeler wants to "modernize our interpretation of the term 'multichannel video programming distributor' so that it is technology-neutral," and cover over-the-top video providers. But what isn't mentioned is the downside. Now those Internet TV services -- including a possible revamped Aereo -- will need to deal with those companies that control a lot of Internet access.
Following in the footsteps of CBS, HBO, and others, YouTube wants to join the hunt for subscription-video-on-demand business.
We know traditional forms of entertainment are in a massive time of change -- especially TV. But what about somewhat older forms of entertainment?
I'm lost this weekend. No one has sent me a link to a TV show, a piece of music, a new theatrical movie, or even some new outdoor billboard. Without any digitally delivered recommendations, what can I do? I'll have to go it alone and be left to my own devices. Search recommendations from my smart TV haven't helped that much. I mean, what I can I do with "Warrior Games: The Fight Continues"?
Five years from now, what's considered poor ratings for cable TV networks now might look a lot better then. For many cable networks who count on the likes of off-broadcast network TV shows and other fare -- think "Big Bang Theory" on TBS; "Modern Family" on USA Network -- rougher times may be ahead.
Some consumers feel tethered to their pay TV providers in accessing traditional networks over new digital services. That's why TV Everywhere platforms may not be gaining big traction, according to some studies. But another report elicits a picture of somewhat happier pay TV consumers. Adobe says the amount of online TV authenticated video starts soared 388% in the second quarter versus a year earlier. The improvement came specifically from the Winter Olympics, March Madness and World Cup events. There may also be some cracks in the TV Everywhere movement among specific companies -- like Time Warner.
True-blue conservatives are likely to go to one source for news.True-blue liberals are likely to search around the dial a bit more. Forty-seven percent of "consistent conservatives" go to Fox News, according to the Pew Research Center. But "consistent liberals" spread the wealth around -- spending 15% of the time with CNN; 12% with MSNBC; 13% with NPR; and 10% with The New York Times.Is this good news? A better question is, what political candidates and political-minded organization should do with their media plans. Do they have enough alternatives in traditional TV advertising inventory?
Remember how Dish Network's Hopper lets its customers skip -- in mass -- prime-time commercials from the four broadcast networks? Other companies, like Apple, could be looking to make hay in this area. But, a year and half after saying it was still working on ad-skipping technology, Apple has had no recent updates.
Rejoice! A la carte programming has finally arrived in a purely digital form: streaming on the Internet. You can get exactly the TV networks you want -- in theory. Trouble is, you'll also be paying for them. And the numbers will start to add up there's CBS, $5.99 a month; Netflix, $8.99 a month. And HBO? We don't have a clue yet -- maybe $7.99 a month.