Archive for February, 2012
This chart (below) from ISI Group tells you all you need to know about the fate of cable TV in the age of the iPad: Since Q1 2010, 2.3 million people have stopped subscribing to pay TV as delivered by cable TV companies such as Cablevision, Comcast, DirecTV, Time Warner Cable, Dish, Verizon, and AT&T.
Currently, only 41.5 million Americans watch TV on pay cable.
I’ve been arguing for a while now that Americans are on the cusp of a dramatic change in how they watch video. They’re moving to video over the internet. Traditional TV is dying, in much the same way that in the mid-2000s we all largely stopped using hardwired telephones to make calls in favor of wireless mobile cellphones.
Hardwired phones are still a big business, of course, and most households still have them. But they’re really a vestigial offshoot of whatever bundled communications package you’ve bought.
It looks like cable is about to go the same way. Although its subscriber numbers are dwindling, subscriber numbers for satellite TV and broadband phone/internet service remain relatively healthy, as the second chart (below) shows. That suggests to me that there is a growing number of households choosing a broadband package with the internet as their top priority, and a dwindling number choosing it based on TV.
Ironically, the fall has come at a time when cable is making more ad money than ever. It’s a supply-and-demand issue: It may be that cable TV’s audience is dwindling, but it’s still one of the few venues that reliably delivers millions of eyeballs all at once.
First, the cable TV chart, based on numbers from ISI Group:
Here’s the market share situation. Note that 2011 was a threshold year, when cable slipped from having more than 50 percent of the market to less:
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- You Saw The Academy Awards, Now See Who Won BI’s Oscars For Ads
Sure, The Artist did well at the Academy Awards. But what does that really mean, statistically?
As usual, our friends at AddThis, a company that provides social media sharing tools for web publishers, tracked their network of 11 million sites and 1.2 billion unique users per month to find out which Oscar events really drove chatter among consumers.
This was the background chatter in the weeks prior to the Oscars. Note that ‘Hugo’ dominates.
Demian Bichir peaked when he was nominated for a SAG award for ‘Better Life.’ But interest faded. More people were interested in George Clooney than Jean Dujardin of ‘The Artist’ in the week before the Oscars.
Prior to the show, the people’s choice for Best Actress was Viola Davis, not Meryl Streep.
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Hey Carriers. We need to talk. You know how you said you were going to start throttling high data usage users in hopes to preserve bandwidth? That’s bullshit, apparently. It’s only because you want to get us onto tiered data plans so you can charge us overages. With hate, everyone.
Seriously. Validas, an analytics firm, analyzed 50,000 cellphone bills from AT&T and Verizon to see if throttling was a necessary evil to conserve bandwidth. However, the numbers point to no. Instead, Validas guesstimates that it’s because carriers would rather have us on tiered data plans for the overage fees. According to Validas:
“When we look at the top 5% of data users, there is virtually no difference in data consumption between those on unlimited and those on tiered plans — and yet the unlimited consumers are the ones at risk of getting their service turned off. So it’s curious that anyone would think the throttling here represents a serious effort at alleviating network bandwidth issues. After all, Sprint does seemingly fine maintaining non-throttled unlimited data for its customers.”
The point being, throttling the Top 5% of unlimited data users seems to be unnecessary because the Top 5% are using the same amount of data on their tiered plans anyway. Go figure, carriers trying to squeeze a dime out of a nickel. [BGR]
Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.
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