Pay-TV Declines: How Long Can Cable Hold On?
The number of Americans who pay for traditional cable is declining, says a research forecast from TDG-The Diffusion Group that claims subscriptions that peaked at nearly 101 million in 2011 will slide to fewer than 95 million by 2017. Notes Jeff John Roberts on this 5-percent decline, “The price of cable bundles is climbing ever higher at the same time as a bevy of new distribution options is increasing consumer frustration at having to purchase channels they don’t want. Meanwhile, a rising generation of ‘cord-nevers’ thinks buying a cable package to watch one show makes as much sense as buying a CD to hear a single song.” However, cable still holds the trump cards of premium content and sports along with password-protected TV Everywhere advances and advanced business broadband offerings. For now, OTT providers are struggling to beat that winning hand.
CES Wrap-Up: More Is More, But Is Hardware The Future?
The largest CES in the show’s history concluded last week, with more than 3,250 exhibitors unveiling some 20,000 new products in 15 product categories to more than 150,000 global attendees. In video displays, LG featured its touchscreen Ultra HD, Sony launched the first Ultra HD OLED display, Samsung featured its bendable OLED and Hisense launched its transparent 3DTV. Other products that could be adopted by service providers and consumers alike include multidevice connectivity from Ultraviolet, near field communications from LG and Sony, and Samsung’s smart TVs with voice recognition. However, should hardware be the main focus of CES moving forward? Nick Dillon, Ovum’s senior device analyst, doesn’t think so: "The show’s continuing focus on hardware is making it look increasingly dated, as the majority of innovation is now happening in software and services rather than in hardware design." This apparently will reflect in operators purchasing more software-upgradable gear and less equipment that would require a complete changeout periodically.