Some larger cable providers have begun launching apps that allow viewers watch live cable television channels, on-demand shows, or shows recorded via DVR from mobile devices. While this might slow their loss of subscribers, it could be hastening the demise of the traditional cable business on which those companies’ profits depend. Apps aside, the cable companies are still currently employing a model which consumers are beginning to reject.
The issue for most is the high price, and a diminishing perception of value, of cable bundles. Users are at the mercy of cable companies who often hike prices on a near annual basis, often without adding any additional channels or services. And when channels are dropped, subscribers never see any reduction in their bill. In the minds of many consumers, the price has become divorced from the actual product or level of service provided, instead seeming more like a ransom; a price that you have to pay because the cable company says so and they’re too big to tell otherwise.
More modern web services deliver content in what consumers see as a far more logical manner. For the price of a monthly cable bill, you can subscribe to multiple of these services, not just for a month, but for an entire year. And unlike the cable companies that may gain a few channels now and then while occasionally dropping others, online video services feature libraries that are constantly growing, giving you more for your money each month. Times have changed, and you no longer have to miss out on a show you want to watch just because you don’t get a channel. In the information age, you can be sure that it’s out there somewhere online.
Thus far only the more ambitious have taken the effort to comb the Internet in search of their shows from different networks and sources. But just as cable brought content from different sources together and made them easily accessible to TV viewers, the next generation television experience will need to do the same thing with online sources. That’s exactly what Rabbit TV does with the world’s largest online media guide. Searching and going from website to website in order to watch your favorite TV shows is the modern equivalent of futzing with an antenna. But for 3 million users of Rabbit TV, that can be added to the list of forgotten hassles.