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The revolution will be streamed

So much for the old TV business model.

So much for the old TV business model. (Quinn Dombrowski)


I’ve watched the digital revolution from before the IBM PC. Technology forced changes in market after market — from giant linotype machines to desktop publishing, drafting tables to CAD systems, film to digital CCD. Each leap had one thing in common — the established companies hated the change. Kodak went bankrupt betting that digital photography would never be as good as film. Now it’s television’s turn. My family cut the cord years ago, but cord cutters are not the big problem. It’s my kids. They will never buy cable. The industry has a name for this — cord-nevers.

In college we had to share a phone line. Whoever was stuck with the bill in their name just hated it. Tracking down who made what long distance phone call. It drove them crazy. Nobody in college buys a regular phone line anymore. It’s all cell phones. Period. Everyone has a mobile phone. It’s unthinkable to buy a common line.

It’s going to be the same with cable TV. It has to. If I were going to college today I’d want a high speed internet connection and that’s it.

There are so many streams of entertainment. YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and more.

My kids watch Studio C on YouTube all the time. They don’t know it originates as programming for BYU-TV. They’ve never even heard of that “channel”. Frankly, they really don’t even know what a “channel” is anymore. It’s all about URLs and streams.

Year over year subscription rates are dropping for cable and satellite. It’s freaking them out. Today I read my first article about “cord-nevers”. Oh boy do they have it right. The whole industry is in for a shock.

While we watch carefully for the number of cord-cutters, nobody’s tracking people like Sukhpreet Sangha, who has never signed up for conventional TV. “It just seemed to be not worth the cost when I could get enough of what I wanted in other ways,” she says.

The 27-year-old is part of a generation that feels comfortable streaming all shows using services like Netflix. “I’m not sure I would call [traditional TV] passé, but I would call it unnecessary,” she says.

Cord-nevers certainly play a part in the declining subscriber numbers. But it’s impossible to know exactly how many Sanghas are out there and the potential effect they could have over the long term.

At the end of the article they write about their last hope, cheaper pricing. Oh boy. They still don’t get it. Scheduled TV is gone. Sports will shore up the whole system a while longer, until the NBA, NFL and MLB are able to flip everyone over to to their own system.

In the meantime we can stream the revolution.

Read the rest of Cord-nevers could be bigger threat to TV than cord-cutters on the CBCNEWS website.