Thursday, February 26, 2015

Irresistible force meets immovable object

This classic paradox is based upon and highlights the twin false assumptions that irresistible forces and immovable objects exist (except for the pedants who claim they are one and the same).

For the massed ranks of IPTV times readers paying close attention to this I can almost hear the "stop rambling on with the pungent verbal diarrhea  and get to the point you old codger" - OK - well take a look at this video taking some of the latest IPTV android boxes for a spin

So we have a worldwide Pay TV industry with a hard wired, back of the head commitment to exclusive rights, controlled distribution and regionality - and if it ain't broke don't fix it.

Meanwhile the wild west of the internet has no respect for reputation and pretty much whatever Channels and content you want are available worldwide for free less than 5 clicks away - some examples below;


Sky Sports :

BT Sport

Fox

Eurosport

SportsNet


How might this classic confrontation play out ? Some possible options are below


1. Pay TV operators dig in and to defend themselves assuming these changes are small and will "blow over". Some Pay TV operators go out of business as a result.

2.  Pay TV operators / rights holders very significantly increase the resources applied to content protection.

3. A major worldwide legislative change allows easy control (or censorship as it would be seen) of the internet / mobile worldwide.

4. OTT digital challengers like Amazon and Netflix who lack the "baggage" of old school pay tv hoover up the younger demographic and then become the dominant players.

5. Pay TV operators fundamentally change their business and distribution models to reflect digital change (as Sky appear to be trying to do with Now TV).

6. Exclusive content ceases to the differentiator for increasing numbers of triple play / quad play operators as the younger demographic recognise that content is accessible everywhere anyway and therefore purchasing / subscription / churn decisions are not impacted by the content on offer.


A bit like picking a horse in the Grand National there are no easy wins here and no doubt there are other options and combinations of the above.

Nicholas Negroponte was derided about 15 years ago because he predicted that the video rental giant Blockbuster would be put out of business by the digital revolution. The settled view of the media industry at the time was that Blockbuster was backed by Viacom and was therefore really "big in the trouser department" and would crush or buy any upstarts, It filed for bankruptcy in Sept 2010 from a peak of 60,000 employees and 9,000 stores. Wrong trousers perhaps.

Meanwhile Netflix / Amazon look to be growing very quickly as broadband speeds have rolled out - so place your bets........................