Cable taking the fast train to oblivion

Cable is taking the fast train to oblivion: " . . . . And yet every sentient person in the media business not being directly paid to support this charade knows cable is on a fast train to oblivion. How fast is one question. . . . We all know, and are altering our habits accordingly, that vast portions of television content, current and past, are available through other outlets that bypass cable. The cable industry regularly rushes to announce that "cord-cutting" is a limited issue, when virtually everybody has cut it or is flirting with the possibility of cutting it or being harangued by their children to do so. What's more, habits, behavior, expectations and a fundamental sense of rights of the American media audience are going the opposite direction from the thing that most sustains the cable business: that you want a little but have to pay for everything. That's called bundling. The future is called à la carte — you buy what you want when you want it (and if it's not available with that sort of ease and reasonableness, you steal it). Oh, and cable technology stagnates, while digital technology ever improves. . . . Detroit saw foreign cars coming and did nothing. The music business saw its products being stolen and hardly blinked. No need to mention banks and bad mortgages. Such hubris is combined with, perhaps, a human inability to truly appreciate the pace of change — it will come, everyone can acknowledge, but not yet. And that complacency contributes to the belief that change is manageable. Time Warner has a notion called "television everywhere," in which, as a concession to the changing world, if you continue to pay it — that is, continue to do what you have always done — Time Warner will give you access to its shows on your other devices. This is negotiating with the inevitable — and accommodating the de facto. (And, by the way, whose HBO Go account are you using?) Money, of course, is one of humankind's greatest natural drugs. As long as the cash is coming you feel good and believe you have time to find a solution, even though, save for an extraordinary innovation which nobody has yet to quite get to work on, the end is preordained. The cable programming business — running, practically speaking, on consumer inertia — doesn't work anymore, and shouldn't. It's too costly and inefficient. It will die. This is easy: There will not be a cable business in five years, or at least not a healthy one. . . ."

Digital Diary: Are We Suffering From Mobile App Burnout?
" . . . This seems to correlate with a larger study by Nielsen, which found that the average number of applications per smartphone was rising, but that the amount of time people spent using apps had not changed much. The most heavily used apps were Facebook, YouTube, the Android Market, Google Search and Gmail. Onavo, a company that helps people monitor their data use, estimates that only about 1,000 applications have at least 50,000 users in the United States. The rest remain far from the mainstream. For the typical app, less than half the people who download it use it more than once, said Guy Rosen, the chief executive of Onavo. . . ."

Nielsen Agrees to Expand Definition of TV Viewing: " . . . . By September 2013, when the next TV season begins, Nielsen expects to have in place new hardware and software tools in the nearly 23,000 TV homes it samples. Those measurement systems will capture viewership not just from the 75 percent of homes that rely on cable, satellite and over the air broadcasts but also viewing via devices that deliver video from streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon, from so-called over-the-top services and from TV enabled game systems like the X-Box and PlayStation. While some use of iPads and other tablets that receive broadband in the home will be included in the first phase of measurement improvements, a second phase is envisioned to include such devices in a more comprehensive fashion. The second phase is envisioned to roll out on a slower timetable, according to sources, will the overall goal to attempt to capture video viewing of any kind from any source. Nielsen is said to have an internal goal of being able to measure video viewing on an iPad by the end of this year, a process in which the company will work closely with its clients. . . ."

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