TV Content Atomization is the Biggest Threat to Cablecos

The Wired blog reports on a new customer satisfaction study from market researcher [praized subtype=”small” pid=”e70e73bc173c08791d52fb78fc51947def” type=”badge” dynamic=”true”] explaining that Cablecos could soon see customer exodus if they don’t improve their customer service.

“Cable subscribers are generally less satisfied, which creates opportunities for satellite and telco/IPTV providers to grab customers,” said Kurt Scherf, vice president, principal analyst, Parks Associates, in a prepared statement. “Although cable operators have improved service efforts, cable operators will still hemorrhage subscribers unless they are perceived as offering leading-edge features at equal or better value. In today’s economic climate, carriers cannot afford to ignore these findings.”

What it means: I suspect the biggest threat to cable companies in the long run is not bad customer service.  It’s content atomization.  Initiatives like Hulu.com, internet broadcasting on TV networks web sites (I can watch full episodes of popular US series on CTV.ca) and BitTorrent allow anyone to watch their favorite TV shows anytime anywhere.  Compare this to cable packages, where you need to buy a minimum number of channels, some of which you never watch.  TV viewers will soon clamor for personalization and customization and will want to pay only for channels “consumed”.  Expect TV sets to come with Wi-Fi chips allowing you to connect your TV to your wireless router.

2 thoughts on “TV Content Atomization is the Biggest Threat to Cablecos

  1. Just came across this blog post also at GigaOM that might be of relevance for this post: http://gigaom.com/2008/10/21/in-defense-of-cable/

    My thoughts?

    I agree with the assessment of content atomization and having customization tailored to my needs. For example, the only channels I would really watch are the sports channel, a news network, and a specialty channel like Raptors TV. However, my family is paying for other channels that we would never watch. It has always appeared to me that this is a waste of money for us. Secondly, for us to upgrade to get specialty channels that we want, we would need to buy in to a bundle which contains other channels that we simply don’t need.😦

    What I would love to see?

    I would like a subscription model where I pay for a bundled selections of the core television programs that I would watch (the shows mentioned above). Then a tiered trial model or pay as you go model where I would pay additional to the core, certain fees for watching additional tv shows.

    For example, during the National Election, I might pay extra to follow the election on Global.

  2. Just came across this blog post also at GigaOM that might be of relevance for this post: http://gigaom.com/2008/10/21/in-defense-of-cable/

    My thoughts?

    I agree with the assessment of content atomization and having customization tailored to my needs. For example, the only channels I would really watch are the sports channel, a news network, and a specialty channel like Raptors TV. However, my family is paying for other channels that we would never watch. It has always appeared to me that this is a waste of money for us. Secondly, for us to upgrade to get specialty channels that we want, we would need to buy in to a bundle which contains other channels that we simply don’t need.😦

    What I would love to see?

    I would like a subscription model where I pay for a bundled selections of the core television programs that I would watch (the shows mentioned above). Then a tiered trial model or pay as you go model where I would pay additional to the core, certain fees for watching additional tv shows.

    For example, during the National Election, I might pay extra to follow the election on Global.

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