Part 2: What is Rabbit TV… to the Industry. In a previous post, I explained the smorgasbord of content and features for consumers that is the all new Rabbit TV Plus. As expected, that left many in the television industry asking the eternal question: “what can it do for me?” So now I’d like to follow up with a part two, expanding on “What the Heck is Rabbit TV?” and explaining exactly why the entire entertainment industry should be just as excited as consumers about the all new Rabbit TV Plus.
There’s no denying that web TV is coming fast, and coming at the expense of traditional pay TV operators: the cable and satellite companies. This trend is driven by audiences and devices, meaning that it is not going to suddenly reverse. To younger people, online video is first nature, so paying triple digit cable bills each month for the same content that they’re already watching online holds little appeal. Meanwhile ownership of tablets and smartphones is exploding, with devices getting both smaller and more powerful every year, and increasingly serving as the devices through which consumers can view content, anyplace and anytime they want.
As consumer habits change, content must adapt to stay relevant and reach them. With video subscriber numbers falling for nearly every cable provider, it’s clear that the internet will soon be the optimal channel through which to do so, if it’s not already. Netflix, while currently facing some challenges, has for the most part been web TV’s first success story. Several cable networks, including HBO and CBS have seen the writing on the wall and moved to offer their content online in a similar fashion. But while everybody’s suddenly in a hurry to get online, nobody seems to be asking what the end result looks like for consumers. The networks who compete with each other will never come together or cooperate to put their content together in one place that’s easy for consumers. Instead they’ll be forced to jump between different websites, apps, platforms, and technologies. This inconveniences consumers, and in the end hurts everybody.
Some have suggested that Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, or others may fill this role, but in reality that is not feasible. While those products receive a lot of well deserved praise for being among the first web-delivered pay channels and popularizing video-on-demand, but that’s all they are: single channels. They face plenty of challenges of their own as well, including the high cost associated with point-to-point streaming and content acquisition. Just think, if Netflix is to become an aggregator, do you think all of the TV networks will fork over their content without expecting big bucks? No way. They’ll try to get every penny out of Netflix that they can, the same way they do with the cable providers today. Content costs would explode, and you’d end up with little more than the same broken cable business model for the web.
Rabbit TV Plus is an agnostic open platform for content on the web. While others are concerned about rights to specific content, what we’ve done is create an ecosystem that can not only accommodate all of these other players, but benefit all of the as well. From multi-billion dollar media groups down to single individuals, and organizations of all sizes in between, Rabbit TV Plus offers both a home for their content and tools to monetize it.
Unlike Netflix, Rabbit TV’s aggregator model creates a distributed network, with each content provider responsible for hosting and delivering their own content. Not only does that keep costs down by eliminating the cable middle-man, but it gives content owners greater control and eliminates digital rights management worries all together. What Rabbit TV Plus does is serve up increasingly valuable viewer eyeballs, most of which are not reached through traditional pay TV. Quality content can be monetized via a subscription-based or pay-per-view basis, while other free content can be supported by advertising.
What’s special about Rabbit TV Plus is that it’s able to capture the upside of many other subscription video-on-demand services, while avoiding much of the cost and hassle. For starters, Rabbit TV Plus is a paid service. Our users pay $10 a year up front before accessing a single video through Rabbit TV, so content creators and advertisers know right off the bat that their viewers are willing to open their wallets, as opposed to users simply browsing YouTube or other free websites. Rabbit TV Plus is ready and set up to start making money for both content creators and investors. Best of all, just how much money is made depends upon the content itself, not on a single negotiated fee.
Our network can also host many different types of content that you won’t find on Netflix or Hulu. Live sports and concerts join your traditional TV episodes and movie shows. Live channels, some just like those on TV, and others originally made for the web, also form a part of the Rabbit TV Plus experience. Premium content is what really takes our service to the next level. With premium channels from sports leagues like the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, NCAA, and more, as well as box office hits on a pay-per-view basis, Rabbit TV Plus can offer the most popular content at a far more affordable price than cable. Finally, the addition of music and games gives us an even wider variety of content that nobody else currently offers alongside video.
For those who prefer to know the numbers, Rabbit TV Plus is over 3.5 million members strong in only 18 months, most of whom purchased the original Rabbit TV USB device that we initially sold through over 35,000 nationwide retailers including Walmart, Target, Sears, Bed Bath & Beyond, CVS, Walgreens, Office Depot, and others. Since then we’ve moved to an entirely online product, and transitioned those USB users to a simple online login so that they can access their favorite shows from any device.
There are hundreds of vendors out there right now, selling all kinds of products to the content creators eager to get online. From streaming methods to analytical software to ad-serving platforms to payment systems, we’re talking millions of dollars at stake. Everybody wants to sell you something, but at some point, all of these different products and services need to be compatible with one another, and that’s where we come in. Rabbit TV Plus has all of that in place already, offering a turnkey solution for content providers in lieu of all that cost and confusion.