The Future Is Not Here Now, It Arrived A Few Years Ago And Left Content Providers Behind
The NY Times reports Sony and Viacom Reach Tentative Deal to Stream Cable Channels:
In a deal that may signal the start of a new era of competition for entrenched cable and satellite providers, Viacom has tentatively agreed to let its popular cable channels — like Nickelodeon and MTV — be carried by an Internet TV service that Sony is creating.
The agreement is believed to be the first of its kind between a major programmer and any of the technology giants that are trying to disrupt traditional modes of TV delivery. If other programmers follow suit, Sony’s as-yet-unnamed service would let paying subscribers receive live cable channels the same way they use on-demand libraries like Netflix or Hulu. Intel and Google are working on similar services, but try to make it more user-friendly, perhaps the way Netflix does with personalization features and a fancy interface.
Most households today have only a few choices for television service: whatever cable company serves their local area, be it Comcast, Time Warner Cable or others, and two satellite providers, DirecTV and Dish Network. In some parts of the country, television through Verizon or AT&T is also available. Analysts say cable delivered through the Internet could give households many more choices — if the new services give customers more for their money and if cable incumbents don’t smother the services.
What the article fails to explain is that the often combatant traditional transmission/pipe providers and the content companies have very little choice but to expore new business models. These companies are essentially dinosaurs attempting to live in the age of modern man, they simply haven't admitted it yet. Let me drive the point home with a few simple statements and a pretty graphic.
These are televisions.
According to Wikipedia, An Emmy Award, or simply Emmy, recognizes excellence in the television industry, and corresponds to the Academy Award (for film), the Tony Award (for theatre), and the Grammy Award (for music).
Netflix won 14 Emmy nominations this year!
Here's the catch, Netflix is a website. It's not a television station, company, producer, studio, network, or anything of the sort. It's video streaming website that sells rentals at a flat rate. Reference Netflix Makes History With 14 Emmy Nominations and realize the level of the threat this poses to both the big studios such as Viacom and the overpriced (in comparision to Internet delivery methods) pipes such as Time Warner, Cox or Cablevision. Wall Street may have poo-pooed the wins, but it's a real and significant threat to the status quo. They had better get their act together, and soon, or more nimble, entrepenuerial and creative companies such as Netflix will make their entire friction-filled business models obsolete.