Todd Spangler on the most recent cable television numbers:
Q1 is historically one of the strongest periods for pay TV providers. But the 176,000 net adds in the most recent quarter came in at less than half the totals for the sector in the previous three years, according to Bazinet’s calculations. The industry added 403,000 in the first quarter of 2012; 483,000 in Q1 2011; and 507,000 in Q1 2010.
Indeed, the four largest publicly held MSOs in the States — Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Charter Communications and Cablevision Systems — collectively lost 208,000 video subscribers in Q1 2013, exactly double the 104,000 they dropped in the year-earlier period.
I sense a trend. And if my math is correct, that trend is not a good one for cable television.
Peter Kafka for AllThingsD:
Good news for Netflix! The company streamed more than 4 billion hours of video in the first three months of the year, according to a Facebook post from CEO Reed Hastings.
BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield crunches those numbers (registration required), and concludes that this makes Netflix the equivalent of the most-watched cable TV network: He figures there are 28 million U.S. Netflix subscribers watching an average of 87 minutes of Netflix per day, or 43 hours per month. That puts it on par with the Disney Channel.
The future continues to reveal itself.
Russell Holly for Geek.com:
Ad revenue from a healthy YouTube channel can be enough to keep an operation of 2-3 people happy, but these new channels are significantly larger scale operations with budgets that can only be reached with the help of some guaranteed monthly cash. To help keep the quality of this new content trending upwards, Google plans to offer certain channels the ability to charge a monthly fee for their content.
I, for one, welcome our new subscription television overlords. You pay for what you want to watch rather than hundreds of channels of bullshit you couldn’t possibly watch even if you wanted to. $1-$5 a month per show. A fair price. What a concept.
Google wants to get into the cable TV business, according to Sam Schechner and Amir Efrati of The Wall Street Journal. If Google thought Google TV was a nightmare, wait until they try to do this…
That said, good for them. Cable television is basically a monopoly business in this country. One service provider usually owns all the access in any given area and as such, can charge whatever they want. It’s bullshit, and no one has done anything about it for decades. Google is apparently going to try to shake things up from the other side.
And while I think they’ll find it to be a nightmare, it does make some sense. Google is now basically an advertising company. And where is the most money in advertising still? Television.
If they won’t partner with you, kick them in the nuts and steal their business. Or die trying.