The disaggregation of linear TV is accelerating…

5 Dec

From Business Insider’s The Future of Digital

I was just talking yesterday about two French ISPs having given up on building their own linear content packages. One might argue that they did this in part because they see linear TV on a downward slope. The news last night about the Disney / Netflix deal will probably comfort them in that line of reasoning…

Earlier this year it looked like Netflix was facing an increasingly uphill battle to maintain its rich content at such a low price to consumers, and some of the large majors seemed to be poised to bet on cable as opposed to Netflix. But last night Disney and Netflix announced a multi-year agreement for Netflix to distribute Disney movies in the earliest Pay TV slot on their US platform. Of course, we have no idea what the financial aspects of the deal are, and whether in the long term such deals will drive Netflix’s costs (and therefore their prices) up. Still, it certainly puts a halt to rumours that Netflix would not be able to negociate access to such contents.

And as the slide above shows, 16% of US TV sets were used at prime time for non-linear video viewing 4 years ago, it’s now 33%. Maybe Disney sees the writing on the wall as well.

Meanwhile, over in France, Youtube is set to massively disrupt established television ecosystems with the launch of it’s Ligue 1 channel. Sure, they won’t be able to broadcast live soccer anytime soon, but they will I suspect swiftly undermine all the linear soccer TV shows by not only performing the same commentary and punditry roles that these shows have but also offering users multiple ways of watching exactly what they want when they want. Already you can view the content through teams, goals, fouls and high points, and I suspect soon you might be able to look at individual player performances and commentary and probably many other approaches that – as a soccer ignoramus – I can’t even devise.

All of this has left me wondering if the massive shift to de-linearized content on the TV that I anticipated in about 5 years time isn’t accelerating. Which of course raises issues of available bandwidth (all of that content is over-the-top) both in the access and at interconnexion points…

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