Last week the world suddenly came to the realization that Netflix is just a channel, it’s only distinction from those on cable being the manner in which it is delivered. Now that distinction is starting to fade away as the traditional cable channels begin to elbow into Netflix’s home turf: online streaming. With Netflix having been brought back down to earth by their missed expectations, and announcements from HBO and CBS of new streaming options, it’s about time for the industry to take a second look at the question of what will replace the dying cable TV business and form the backbone of the future pay-TV and entertainment industries. For a some time now, many in the media have asserted that Netflix itself would replace cable. What they meant was likely that services like Netflix would replace cable, using the name of the most well known service in the category that includes Amazon Instant Video, Hulu, and others, to refer to them all collectively. But now that other content sources are lining up to join those ranks, it’s abundantly clear that cable won’t be replaced by a handful of web-based video on demand channels.
Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and even the upcoming services from HBO and CBS are all content libraries. In other words, they’re limited in what they can offer. As cable TV starts to go the way of the dinosaurs, we’re looking at a remarkably similar landscape emerging in the online TV space. The oft derided bundles peddled by the cable company don’t exist there, but if you pay a subscription fee to Netflix, Amazon, HBO, CBS, potentially ESPN, and others, you’re looking at the very same business model as you were with cable, sans the middle man and the enforced bundling. Depending on the subscription fees charged by the networks as they move their offerings online, the cable and network executives’ warnings that unbundled cable could lead to higher prices for popular channels could prove true even online. No two or three content libraries alone will be able to replace the wide variety of options that users have come to expect with cable TV.
Consider this: if you subscribe to 10 subscription streaming services or ‘channels’, each priced between $5 and $10 a month, you’re probably paying close to what you would be for cable. To watch all of this content that you’re paying for, you’d have to juggle 10 different logins to different apps and websites, which would hardly be convenient. Suddenly cable starts to look like a better deal after all, and the idea that cable will be replaced by an unbundled and web-delivered version of the same business model no longer makes much sense. So what gives? Obviously we won’t see consumers trying to re-assemble their entire current cable TV package with online versions of all the same networks. But for anyone who has shows from HBO or CBS on their must-watch list, they now have an alternative to a cable package that tops $100 a month.
At FreeCast Inc, we’ve completely reimagined the TV business to save consumers money, give them more options, and set them free from the restrictions that come from a cable industry that simply hasn’t adapted to the modern world. What we once watched on TV used to come to us over the airwaves and it was completely free, supported by advertisements. Today, there’s more content available for free than ever, both over the air and over the Internet. Rather than paying for hundreds of channels that go unwatched, $10 a year for Rabbit TV, and $20 for an HDTV antenna from any major retailor will give a consumer access to hundreds of thousands of TV shows, movies, radio stations, and their local broadcast channels. What isn’t available for free can then be bought à la carte, so you’re only paying for what you watch. Last but not least, Rabbit TV brings all of this, both the free and premium content, together in one place where you can find and watch anything you want with ease.
Only by bringing content together from different sources can you truly replace today’s cable TV. Closed content libraries cannot and never will be able to do that, because no one can offer everything that consumers want to watch.