The battle for TV, part one: a la carte pricing is needed
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

The battle for TV, part one: a la carte pricing is needed

The battle for your home TV is underway, and it will be interesting -- and perhaps a bit scary -- to see who's left standing when the dust settles. I'll bet my money on Apple as one of the winners -- though it, like all other contenders, has its work cut out for it.

A new study by the Credit Suisse research firm shows that that an increasing number of young adults are now turning to Netflix to watch film and TV shows. Cable subscriptions have dropped the last two quarters -- which once would have been unheard of.

The Zacks investment research firm (http://www.zacks.com) says that, although minor for now, this is probably the beginning of a larger trend.

"Although being downplayed by the current media giants, this was how Blockbuster downplayed it's monopoly on rental videos," the firm says. "Now Blockbuster is in near bankruptcy. The media types that have their head in the sand won't survive. Already some are denying reality by saying this is all hype. Well, tell that to the music industry and how it changed with Apple's iTunes and iPad. Tell that to Google that is investing huge sums. Comcast understands this and at the moment is running scared. Time Warner Cable has already come out with a lower price bundle. Basically, Netflix is providing streaming video from $9 to $60 whereas the cable prices run from around $70 to $115 monthly."

If I could get our local stations, plus some other ones I like (Turner Movie Classics, AMC, etc.), I would gladly pay Netflix or some company substantially more than eight bucks a month, as I'm tired of being ripped off by Comcast. Heck, I'd love a service with a la carte pricing for TV shows. Maybe Apple will give us one when its ginormous data center in North Carolina fires up.

Apple hasn't said what it plans to do with the server farm. However, analysts think it will play a key role in Apple's move toward cloud computing and streaming media. The latest Apple TV is built for streaming. And the new MacBook Air, which Apple CEO Steve Jobs called the "future" of the entire MacBook line, is equipped with only flash memory and seems geared toward cloud-based initiatives.

If Apple -- or someone -- offered such a service, it would be a big hit. Instead of subscribing to a service from a cable, satellite or phone company that might offer you hundreds of channels you'll never watch, you would be able to select what you want and watch it at your own schedule.

In fact, Nick Carr, author of the “ The Big Switch” a bestseller about the cloud, told "Cult of Mac" (http://www.cultofmac.com) Apple’s North Carolina facility is a “broadcasting system” not unlike NBC or CBS, but one that distributes software as well as media. The data center can be seen as essentially a broadcasting system that will enable Apple to make the shift from a downloading model of media distribution to a streaming model.

"It’s a proprietary broadcasting system (not altogether unlike traditional broadcasting systems), which means it’s a very different model of the cloud from the open model promoted by Google," Carr tells "Cult of Mac."

At 500,000 square feet, Apple’s $1 billion data center will be among the largest in the world. The unusual size of the data center suggests that Apple has ambitious plans for cloud computing, though Apple hasn't said what it will be used for.

"Cult of Mac" notes that it’s assumed it will be used to stream music and movies from iTunes. Reports suggest the company is going to build a big office complex next door and is “going after the cable market.”

But it goes deeper than that, says Carr. The facility will help transition Apple from a download model of computing to a streaming model of computing.

I'm not sure what sort of negotiations Apple would need to make with the TV and movie studios for a la carte offerings, but I think it's the way of the future. There has been a recent push to create laws that force cable providers to allow consumers to purchase individual cable TV channels à la carte, i.e. to allow them to pick and choose which channels they would like to have available in their homes.

Consumer advocacy groups have been asking Congress to look into why cable companies won't let subscribers pick the channels they want in their subscription packages instead of being forced into accepting dozens of channels they may never watch while still paying for them. However, the cable and satellite industries argue that this would lead to more consolidation and "fewer voices." They say (http://gigaom.com/video/is-a-la-carte-cable-a-suckers-bet/) a la carte would lead to:

° Fewer channels: the loss of carriage fees for programmers would translate into niche networks losing revenue and subscribers, while forcing surviving networks to charge individuals more to subscribe to their channels.

° Less ad revenue: with just the channels you want, there are fewer casual viewers aimlessly flipping through the dial. Fewer viewers results in fewer ad dollars. Networks that survived the shakeout could charge more, though.

° Economic impact: fewer networks and fewer TV ads means fewer jobs which would be felt throughout the economy.

However, I don't buy these arguments. A Nielsen Media Research study three years ago (and I haven't found an updated one) says that an average cable subscriber was paying for 85 channels when in reality that consumer only watched 16. Cable rates have more than doubled in the last 10 years with cable companies sometimes pointing to the increased number of channels as one reason for price hikes. That's not a very good reason for me to pay more to the cable and or satellite company if I'm not watching most of the channels that are "pushed" on me.

I'll continue this look at the battle for, and future of, TV tomorrow.

-- Dennis Sellers

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

The best scanner app on mobile
People always say that the best camera is the one you have with you. Well, the same is true with scanners, and your phone can be a pretty great tool for scanning receipts and other documents while you're on the go. [Read more] | Read more »
MARVEL Avengers Academy guide - How to g...
MARVEL Avengers Academy lets you build your own superhero school and fill it with heroes from the Marvel universe. It can be a little slow going to get your school's attendance up though, so we've gathered together somesome tips to help you do this... | Read more »
Shadow Blade: Reload guide - How to hack...
Shadow Blade: Reload is the kind of action-platformer that would have happily sucked up hours of your time on a console a few years back.Now, you can take it with you wherever you go, and its mobile conversion is not too shabby at all. To help you... | Read more »
Tomb of the Mask guide - How to increase...
Tomb of the Mask is a great endless arcade game from Happymagenta in which quick reflexes and a persistent attitude can go a long way toward earning a top score. Check out these tips to see if you can give yourself an edge on the leaderboards. [... | Read more »
Smooth Operator! (Games)
Smooth Operator! 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Smooth Operator is a weird, weird two-player kissing game. Squeeze in for 2 player fun on a single iPad, creating awkward... | Read more »
Sinless: Remastered (Games)
Sinless: Remastered 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
_PRISM Guide - How to solve those puzzle...
_PRISM is a rather delightful puzzle game that’s been tailor made for touch screens. While part of the fun is figuring things out as you go along, we thought we’d offer you a helping hand at getting in the right mindset. Don’t worry about messing... | Read more »
Fractal Space (Games)
Fractal Space 1.3.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.3.1 (iTunes) Description: Live the memorable experience of Fractal Space, a unique first person adventure & puzzle game by Haze Games! Will you... | Read more »
Set off on an adventure through the Cand...
Like match three puzzlers? If so, Jelly Blast, the innovative iOS and Android game which launched last year, is worth a look. Jelly Blast sees you head off on an epic adventure through the Candy Kingdom with your friends Lily, Mr. Hare, and Mr.... | Read more »
Ellipsis - Touch. Explore. Survive. (...
Ellipsis - Touch. Explore. Survive. 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

cb Hardcase – Handmade and Premium Protective...
Baden-Baden, Germany based company cb innovations has introduced the new cb Hardcase for iPhone. Featuring fine Italian Premium leather that makes for a unique look and feel, the cb Hardcase... Read more
Sale! B&H Photo offers 12-inch Retina Mac...
B&H Photo has 12″ Retina MacBooks on sale for $300 off MSRP for a limited time. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 12″ 1.1GHz Gray Retina MacBook: $999 $300 off MSRP - 12″ 1.... Read more
App Annie Reveals Future of the App Economy:...
App Annie, a San Francisco based mobile app data and insights platform, has launched its first comprehensive app economy forecast. This new offering will provide brands, agencies, investors and app... Read more
Apple restocks Certified Refurbished Mac mini...
Apple has restocked Certified Refurbished 2014 Mac minis, with models available starting at $419. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each mini, and shipping is free: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $419 $... Read more
What iPad Pro Still Needs To Make It Truly Pr...
I love my iPad Air 2. So much that I’m grudgingly willing to put up with its compromises and limitations as a production tool in order to take advantage of its virtues. However, since a computer for... Read more
21-inch 3.1GHz 4K on sale for $1399, $100 off...
B&H Photo has the 21″ 3.1GHz 4K iMac on sale $1399 for a limited time. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP: - 21″ 3.1GHz 4K iMac (MK452LL/A): $... Read more
Apple price trackers, updated continuously
Scan our Apple Price Trackers for the latest information on sales, bundles, and availability on systems from Apple’s authorized internet/catalog resellers. We update the trackers continuously: - 15″... Read more
Save up to $240 with Apple Certified Refurbis...
Apple is now offering Certified Refurbished 12″ Retina MacBooks for up to $240 off the cost of new models. Apple will include a standard one-year warranty with each MacBook, and shipping is free. The... Read more
Apple refurbished 13-inch Retina MacBook Pros...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 13″ Retina MacBook Pros available for up to $270 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 13″ 2.7GHz... Read more
Apple refurbished Time Capsules available for...
Apple has certified refurbished Time Capsules available for $120 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each Time Capsule, and shipping is free: - 2TB Time Capsule: $179, $120 off - 3TB... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
Simply Mac *Apple* Specialist- Service Repa...
Simply Mac is the largest premier retailer of Apple products in the nation. In order to support our growing customer base, we are currently looking for a driven Read more
*Apple* Reporter - Business Insider, Inc. (U...
Business Insider is looking for a reporter to cover Apple , the biggest and arguably most important company in tech. As our primary Apple reporter, you will: * Read more
Infrastructure Engineer - *Apple* /Mac - Rem...
…part of a team Requires proven problem solving skills Preferred Additional: Apple Certified System Administrator (ACSA) Apple Certified Technical Coordinator (ACTC) Read more
Lead Engineer *Apple* OSX & Hardware -...
Lead Engineer Apple OSX & Hardware **Job ID:** 3125919 **Full/Part\-Time:** Full\-time **Regular/Temporary:** Regular **Listed:** 2016\-02\-10 **Location:** Cary, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.