We probably didn’t need a survey to confirm this, but the 10,000 consumers polled for the 2016 Temkin Experience Ratings agree that TV and internet service providers are the most hated industries in the United States. More →
Cable boxes are one of the biggest money sucks in pay TV (and when we’re talking about an industry that charges you money to watch ads, that’s a serious statement). The FCC has voted on a plan to open up the cable box market to competition, which would allow you to buy your own, technologically advanced box, rather than renting forever from your cable company.
Cable companies make $20 billion a year from rental fees, so would you like to guess how enthusiastic Comcast is about the new plan?
Cable companies that have long milked cable subscriptions for profit are worried about how they’re going to replace that cash among new generations of cable-cutters. But maybe, just maybe, they won’t have to.
DSL Reports has spotted a trend among ISPs that at first glance, looks pretty good: AT&T and Bend will both remove their broadband caps if users also bundle TV and home phone. It looks like a deal for customers — no fee to remove data caps! — but really, it’s an out-and-out money grab.
Cord cutting doesn’t only save you money — it saves you time as well. In fact, it turns out that Netflix may be saving you from having to watch an astonishing 160 hours worth of commercials every year. This estimate comes from streaming enthusiast site Cordcutting.com, which reached that number by looking at publicly available Netflix subscriber data.
The rising popularity of Netflix represents a two-pronged threat to the cable industry. On one hand, cable companies need to keep subscribers who pay upwards of $100/month happy enough to keep them from cutting the cord completely. Additionally, cable companies need to figure out ways to bring new subscribers into the fold.
On the first front, the cable industry is doing alright. While the cord cutting phenomenon is very real, its impact, at least not yet, isn’t as severe as initially believed. As we reported earlier in the week, the rate of cable subscribers cutting the cord has noticeably slowed down as of late.
On the second front, well, this is where the true challenge lies.
While services like Netflix and Hulu have made accessing media content more affordable than ever before, the price of cable, somewhat curiously, has continued to rise to unprecedented heights. Not too long ago, a study revealed that the average monthly cost of cable now stands at about $99, a figure which is 39% higher than in 2010.
Your phone and cable company could charge you a lot less than they do right now and still make a healthy profit. We know this because whenever you call up and threaten to cancel your service because it’s too expensive, they almost always offer you a better deal immediately. However, haggling with your phone or cable company for lower prices takes time and patience, which is why I was intrigued to see The New York Times’ new report on a company called BillFixers that does all the hard work for you in exchange for taking half of the yearly savings you get. More →
While cable providers over the past few decades have grown fat off of exorbitant cable packages that overcharge and under-deliver, the rise of streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Video are finally righting the ship and shifting the balance of power towards the consumer. Clearly, the cable industry is in the midst of a transition.
Netflix in particular, with its ever-growing stable of original content, has proven to be a particularly painful thorn in the side of cable providers who are increasingly struggling to keep subscribers from cutting the cord.
The ongoing fight for the collective viewing attention of consumers is absolutely fascinating to watch; not only are we in the midst of a highly competitive battle being waged by influential media giants, the outcome of the battle itself remains excitingly unpredictable. Sure, we know that streaming services from the likes of Netflix and HBO continue to grow in popularity, but a number of questions about what the media landscape will look like in even two years remains open to debate.
For instance, what can cable providers do to attract new customers and, just as important, keep existing ones? Will Apple’s rumored TV subscription service prove successful? Can Netflix continue churning out an endless stream of compelling and original content? Can Hulu, or perhaps Amazon, steal away a significant number customers from Netflix?
The traditional pay TV bundle is slowly dying. New data released by research firm SNL Kagan this week showed that pay TV services lost a total of 625,000 subscribers last quarter, which is the largest quarterly loss in the industry’s history. While the pay TV industry typically loses subscribers in the second calendar quarter ever year, this year’s losses absolutely dwarfed the 352,000 net customer loss that pay TV services posted in Q2 2014. More →
Cable companies love to call cord cutters an overhyped myth, but now these supposedly phantom TV fans are hurting the pay TV industry where it matters most. A new report in Nasdaq.com explains that major media companies have been taking a beating in their most recent earnings reports, which has spawned fears among investors that cord cutting is an irreversible trend that will permanently dent content providers’ ability to post ever-increasing profits. More →