Category Archives: Media-TV

Machine learning debut in the entertainment industry crashes and burns?

I work at a market research firm and ever since the semester started I’ve begun to think about how disruptive technology will affect the particular industry I work in currently. Within my firm I work in the media and entertainment department which is why when it came to choosing what industry I wanted to focus my machine learning project on, I jumped at the opportunity to focus on entertainment. Spencer made a good point in one of our first classes, that when machines take over and people are out of jobs, there will always need to be a solid entertainment industry to keep people busy.

Google gives us a goo idea of what entertainment is like for us now because of the machine learning that how technology uses. It creates a more personalized experience for us and allows us to watch our content when we want.

According to Forbes, there are six major digital transformations in the media and entertainment industry. Multi-channel experiences are the norm now; Accenture Digital did a study that showed most people obviously use different devices to watch certain things, but often, people are viewing content on their devices simultaneously. Creators are becoming scared that it’s not necessarily the content that people care for, it’s more about the convenience.  This is where the AI comes into play. AI is getting more and more creative, according to Forbes. The technology is used in the entertainment world in many ways, one being to create plots of shows and movies based off of box office ratings. This new wave of computer-human collaboration is already working effectively within the industry. The result of this collaboration and integration of AI in the entertainment industry is that the computer will learn how to collect box office ratings and Nielson TV ratings data on its own to then create a plot and compile a final trailer for review all within 24 hours, which is significantly less than the average 30 days spent editing manually.

A prime example of machine learning specifically in the entertainment industry is located within Netflix. Based on what you watch, Netflix recommends shows or movies that are similar to the shows you have watched or are currently viewing. To that point, in 2013, Netflix released “Max” your personal recommender on the app. However, this feature crashed and burned due to the fact that “Max” didn’t sync properly with consumers Netflix accounts making is results less and less accurate and his recommendations poor. This sent Netflix back to the drawing board to see how to use machine learning to their advantage.

Similarly to Netflix, most companies are researching how to benefit from AI and machine learning as both technologies become more prominent. There is a lot of research and development regarding machine learning for entertainment companies and they seem to have their finger on the pulse, as of right now.

Artificial Intelligence Executive Summary: What Have We Accomplished?

What is Artificial Intelligence? According to Stanford University, artificial intelligence is “the science and engineering of making intelligent machines, especially intelligent computer programs. It is related to the similar task of using computers to understand human intelligence, but AI does not have to confine itself to methods that are biologically observable.” AI is the first step towards self-learning machines that seem to have two main goals: to solve problems and to make tasks easier and more efficient. To do this, it must be a flexible, rational agent that can perceive its environment in order to take actions that maximize its chance of success. Artificial intelligence is changing our lives, it is already impacting our lives in major ways today; Siri, Echo, Amazon’s purchase predictions, and certain home devices are very common examples of this. Its mark on the world has recently started to grow beyond this, and it’s doing so rapidly. AI’s have already been able to contribute to successfully trialing autonomous vehicles, composing music, writing screenplays, and beating masters at their own game (this and more will be explored more deeply during the course of this project). It’s all very remarkable, but like any progressive movements and advances, there are concerns attached. The video below discusses the current impact that AI has on our lives and the implications it has for the future, especially the replacement of human labor with AI. The speaker compares it to the impact agriculture had in the world, (which was immense by the way).

At the moment AI is nowhere near having the same powerful cross-domain ability to learn and plan as a human being does. The cortex in our brain has ways of computing that Ai developers have not been able to achieve yet. If human level machine intelligence may arrive sooner than predicted, then will we need any further technological advancements? If super intelligence is achieved, this may be the last if not close to the final invention humanity will need. With such an ability to mature a superintelligence may be able to find a cure for cancer, expand human longevity, or even space colonization. The main question is: What will AIs impact on the world look like in the future?

One of the things AI has already started to impact is the art and entertainment industries. Most of our firsthand experience with artificial intelligence in entertainment stems from farfetched cases of an undeveloped understanding of AI in vivid Hollywood scenarios. Majority of the scenarios bring to question whether advances in technology could evolve beyond our control in movies like, The Terminator, Ex Machina, and children’s action film Spy Kids. In these notable films, AI agents develop a conscious thought process equivalent of the protagonist their up against in these films. While this gives a flowery depiction of AI, the outstanding question of AI and its affinity in the context of art/entertainment remains. It’s important to understand the original purpose of AI, which is to assist humans and their interaction with technology. “The technology we have today compared to what could be is like making a stick figure drawing of Michelangelo’s David,” stated by Tim Tuttle, CEO and founder of AI firm Expect Labs. But what if that same AI technology can produce art much greater than Michelangelo’s David? When considering art, one must at some point or another question it’s origin and what makes it so special. Some people believe art comes from something beyond our comprehension; a higher power of some sort. Others believe that art at its core is a very human thing. No matter what you believe, Artificial Intelligence has the potential to disrupt your current philosophy and force you to reflect on what it all means. In 2014, Melomics released 0music – an album composed by an artificial intelligence named Melomics109 without any human intervention whatsoever. You can watch and listen to one of the songs from the album here. Now, the music isn’t anything special; it’s no Mozart or Beatles. However, it’s lack musical greatness doesn’t take away from the magnitude of the step taken. As we’ve all learned from studying disruption innovation, most disruptive innovations start out unimpressive; that’s why most people don’t pay attention until it’s too late. There are even instances where AIs are writing film scripts. AI has written Sunspring, a movie which is said to be “hilarious and intense” according to an article by Annalee Newitz. After watching the movie myself, I realized the movie had no plot, no story, and make absolutely no sense. At first I was confused and wondered if there was something I didn’t understand, since the lines didn’t flow and were a bunch of gibberish. But then I looked at the comments and realized that other people felt the same way. They wrote things like “This was like a bad lip reading video” and “I am so confused. This is like either extremely profound or completely absurd.” So basically, AI”s music and movie writing is terrible, but that’s not the point. The point is that it’s a step and a giant one.

AI is not only affecting the art and entertainment industries, but is also affecting the education industry. Milo, “A humanoid robot that engages with children with Autism and delivers research-based lessons that teach social behaviors. Here is a video explaining Milo and thoughts about this robot from our own teammate, John Ferry.

There are also endless amount of legal implications that comes with the technology of AI. Here is a video which speaks about the legal aspects and addresses questions about morals and ethics in terms of AI posted on the YouTube channel of another one of our own teammate, Matt Ehrhardt.

Back to the question presented in the beginning of this entire journey: What will AIs impact on the world look like in the future? According to an article by Max Tegmark, the AI today is only narrow or weak AI which “is designed to perform a narrow task” but the AI in the future will be general AI or AGI (strong AI) which will “outperform humans at nearly every cognitive task.” Many questions arise with this type of change into our lives. How will we be able to stop/control AI if it is designed to outsmart human intelligence? What are some of the problems that will arise because of Artificial Intelligence and how will be combat these issues? What are some of the benefits this new technology can provide? Max discusses some of the dangers that can result from future AI. In addition to being able to outperform human, AI can also do good things the “bad” way. For example, Max states how “autonomous weapons are artificial intelligence weapons that are programmed to kill” meaning that if this technology gets misplaced or put into the wrong hands, it can easily cause mass causalities, maybe even be able to “destroy the human race” as we have only seen in movies. Also, even if the end goal of AI is to do something good, it may not take the ‘safest” way to reach that goal. Max gives an examples of how if the mission of an autonomous vehicle is to take one to the airport as fast as possible, it might get one there being chased by helicopters and being covered in vomit. In an article on Business Insider by Guia Marie Del Prado, Prado states “AI could either make all of our dreams come true or destroy society and the world as we know it.” Above we discussed the dangers of AI, but what are the possible benefits? Prado discusses a number of benefits that can come from smarter and better functioning AI. The first one is that it can keep us safer, which is an obvious fact. But if autonomous vehicles become a lifestyle in the future and there are zero to no human drivers, the road for humans, pedestrians, and animals could be made much much safer. There will be no issues regarding speeding, drunk driving, or “deer on the road”. In addition to driving, AI may also be able to warn us of coming disasters and even be able to enable appropriate responses to eliminate these disasters. AI has the potential to not only become smarter than humans, but to make humans supersmart and “better at everything”. The combination of Artificial Intelligence and humans can make history with its accomplishments and help humans achieve more than they ever could alone. AI can also be able to solve the world’s problems and save the world. As Staurt Russel writes in Prado’s article: “If you had a system that could read all the pages and understand the context instead of just throwing back 26 million pages to answer your query, that kind of program could actually answer the questions asked. It’ll be like if you asked a real question and got an answer from a person who had really read all those millions and millions and billions of pages and understood them and been able to synthesize all that information.” This type of intelligence could help the world solve poverty, or diseases, or prevent wars and find solutions without having to take lives to do it. All this can happen of course, after ethics are taken in to consideration and applied to each of these aspects that AI focuses on.

Our team has researched and attacked several aspects of Artificial Intelligence and it is safe to say that the future of AI is almost the present. We don’t whether this technology is going to help us or destroy us, we don’t know whether we’d ever be able to keep it under control, or if we could ever learn to coincide with it. All we know is that it’s coming and its going to keep improving. We have just heard sporadic instances of the successes and failures of AI in the past of couple of years, but none of us ever looked deeply into this until we started Disruption. All of the things we thought we had to do to prepare for the future: take the SATs, go to college, get good grades, get an internship, we realized are all pretty insignificant to the future that is actually coming. We don’t even know if by the time of our graduation, AI has taken over half of the jobs we thought we’d have to do. What if AI becomes better at PR or accounting or determining stocks at Wall Street than we do by the time we have to find a job? What would we do? Artificial Intelligence, and other disruptive technology, is growing faster than we can imagine the most we can do right now is be digitally literate on these topics and be prepared by being FAIR for the change that is coming.

 

Virtual Reality: Ethical Issues, Global Impact, and Impact on your Career

Virtual and Augmented Reality Ethical Issues:

There are a few ethical issues in regard to virtual environments which need to be addressed. These are related to human behavior, motivations, and inappropriate/ uncensored content in open sourced VR worlds. There are also physical and physiological health concerns in regard to the virtual reality experience.

As the researchers point out, there are good reasons to be especially concerned about the influence of virtual reality on the human brain, as opposed to television or non-immersive video games. Concerns have been raised about a possible relationship between virtual reality and desensitization. This refers to virtual reality games in which there are high levels of violence or training exercises for the military in which soldiers engage in simulated combat scenarios which include killing. Desensitization means that the person is no longer affected by extreme acts of behavior such as violence and fails to show empathy or compassion as a result. This has been noticed with gamers, especially those who play first person shooters or role playing games which involve a high degree of immersion. Unlike other forms of media, VR can create a situation in which the user’s entire environment is determined by the creators of the virtual world.

The VR experience can introduce a number of opportunities for new and powerful forms of mental and behavioral manipulation. Virtual Reality is just like any other experience in the real world in the sense that it can hurt people in the same way that real-world situations can affect people in a psychological sense. To avoid an ethical dilemma in regards to VR, it is important to remember:

  1. Experiments using virtual reality should make sure that they do not cause lasting or serious harm to the subject.
  2. Those participating in the experiment should be made aware of possible psychological and physical effects from VR.
  3. Create awareness about the many ways VR can be used for something other than its original intention.
  4. Adopting procedures through policy and law that ensure a user’s privacy and safety is protected and maintained.

Virtual reality is a form of technology that is continuously developing, because of this continuous progression VR may cause some problems that many of us have not encountered before. There will be problems that include poor ergonomics and then there are psychological issues. These issues are moral and ethical concerns that need to be looked upon with these technological advancements. There are physical effects and time constraints. Due to a person’s perception being distorted VR can provide users motion sickness. Some people are affected by this after spending only 30 minutes in a virtual environment whereas others can go several hours before they notice any ill effects. This is also known as cybersickness. These virtual realities and their devices unfortunately take a very long time to create and maintain, and as we should all know, time is money. Wasted time causes many issues within the surface of a company, the products it produces for the customers, the customer service, the research, the future technological advances, and so on. Researchers are attempting to create a balance between hyper-realism and production time but the equation is yet to be solved at this point.

How Virtual Reality Will Impact Businesses In The Next Five Years:

  1. We’ll Experience Our Reality Through Virtual Reality
    • AR and VR will be tools for our future to capture knowledge. The educational world and the way we will learn will dramatically change 5 years from now. VR will truly become an essential tool in the workforce. These technology-driven tools are getting better, more realistic, and are already accepted by those entering the workforce.
  2. Prototyping Will Go to the Next Level
    • VR and AR will allow companies to present their project in newer and better ways than ever before. These virtual prototypes will allow the customers, builders, and developers to have better planned designs and models which will lead to a higher rate of sales and a higher quality of goods sold as every minute detail of a project can be shown. Decision makers and end-users will be able to provide better and more valuable feedback early in the game. This will allow business to focus and spread out their timing more throughout the company and waste less money holistically.
  3. Certain Niche Markets Will Be Impacted
    • These devices will provide happiness and ease to travel around the world without flying or spending thousands of dollars to enjoy simple moments. However, these devices will be extremely expensive to purchase and most likely maintain.
  4. Advanced VR Will Become the Social Laboratory of the Elite
    • VR and AR will be simulating business strategies, assist government policies, and so on. These choices and devices are supported by billions of dollars in capital which makes this an audience and a market to dive into rather than to ignore.

VR and AR on a Global Level:

The insurgence of VR and AR has massive global implications. International Data Corporation (IDC) has projected that in just four years, the VR/AR market will reach sales up to $162 billion. More and more 360o videos have been showing up on video channels such as Youtube, subtly reminding viewers that they could be getting a better experience via a VR device. VR and AR are by no means constrained to video gaming. As mentioned in a previous blog post, VR is already having an impact in the medical industry, education, social media, and business. Surgeons could be using VR for surgeries, and patients for therapy sessions. Education could become much cheaper if entire courses begin to be taught by one teacher embedded into an immersive software. Social media platforms will become entirely new realities with virtual social spaces and avatars. Mark Zuckerberg has created a plan to do something like this in combining Facebook and VR.

So VR is not restricted to gaming; gaming is simply the gateway to people’s interest in VR. But the “gods of technology” seem to have greater plans for Augmented Reality. Virtual Reality will forever be an experience that takes us away from the present and physical world around us. AR, however, could potentially become an everyday part of our lives.

 

Having trouble believing this could be a close representation of our future? Samsung has already put in patents for smart contact lenses. Get ready world!

How we Stream

No matter the medium, a cable box, a satellite dish, or now a computer with an HDMI cord. How and what we stream has been changing and evolving, but so has the televisions we use to do all our streaming on. Growing up I remember tube TV’s, these box boxes that if they came with a VCR were the coolest thing ever!

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As we progress through the years it then became all about Flat Screen TV’s and 1080p. Flat screens became all the rage and everyone was desperate for the upgrade.

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Then something funny happened. The latest innovation in television became the 3D TV.

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This was the point went the market decided, “No we don’t want that, this is not the future please try again.” The 3D TV fad never did catch on maybe it was because it required glasses? Shortly after the 3D TV demise we saw the rise of the Smart TV.

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In recent years the market has proven it wants smart TV’s and so how does the market continue to disrupt? Flexible glass of course!

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Pretty soon you will have a smart TV that can be completely transparent and flexible to the point where you can roll it up.

 

Televisions, like mobile phones and computers, are constantly changing and evolving. In the last 15 years we have bared witness to the transformation of televisions from being a box in our homes to something that weighs 1/5th of the weight that we mount to our walls and has internet capability. This proves how much power, we the market, have in terms of dictating what disruptive products survive or die. With the example of the 3D television, the market didn’t want it and therefore it is no longer here today but we the market do want flexible screens and so that can stay for the next iteration of televisions.  Using the evolution of the television as an example one could then propose the question.

Do we the market control the pace of disruption or is disruption an independent variable unconstrained by mass adoption and acceptance?

 

 

Social Media Disrupting TV News

The days of rushing to the television to watch a major news story unfold are over.  Social Media has changed the way that we follow breaking news in things both big and small, from the release of who the four College Football Playoff teams are, to much more serious issues, such as the recent terrorist attacks in Paris.  We were too young to understand, but we hear stories of our parents rushing to the tv to watch live footage of the Twin Towers collapsing on 9/11.  Today, everyone would be glued to their smartphones, waiting for news updates, checking Twitter for reactions and video, and constantly refreshing their browser.

This is an example of the evolution that has occurred and how social media has disrupted the traditional television media.  First, news being available on television disrupted the radio news industry.  Now, since the creation of the smart phone, television news ratings have been on the decline and online and mobile news have continuously grown in popularity.  While the attacks in Paris were unfolding and information was coming out, a lot of us were at the Seton Hall Basketball game at the Prudential Center.  We couldn’t be near a television, but we were all up to date by continuously refreshing our phones for the latest updates.  News is so much more available to us than it has ever been, and we no longer need to wait for the 6:00 News to find out what had happened locally or around the world on any given day.

As of September 2014, over 5,000 jobs in the online news sector had been created.  This directly eliminates media jobs that were previously held by cable television stations.  With less demand for tv news and less viewers turning in, news companies have been losing employees to the online industry.  If this continues and news stations do not adapt to streaming online and staying up to date, they will face similar fates as Blockbuster, as discussed in our previous blog posts.  Facebook is of course leading the way in disrupting the news industry, as 30% of the general population uses Facebook to get their news updates, and this number should have only gone up since the poll was conducted in 2014.  This social media has led to a more interactive news experience and something that tv news can never offer.  This information is available 24 hours a day, at users’ fingertips, and gives them the option to leave comments and voice their opinion for the rest of the world to see.

To combat this disruption and stay relevant, news companies are using the social media that is disrupting them to keep their brand out there, target more users, and combat the losses they are taking with the television news.  Every major news network, CNN, Fox News, etc. has an account on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. to reach more audiences and keep delivering news, but this time 24/7 as opposed to strictly at 6 and 11 PM.  Radio news was disrupted and then adapted to become tv news.  Television news is now being disrupted by social media and is adjusting accordingly because one thing will never change, people need to know the news.

How to Combat Media and TV Disruption

My first post can be found here. It would be a good idea to check out our other posts here as well.

We’ve discussed the general trends in disruption and innovation in the industry as a whole. These posts all point to a disruptive future, where media and television as we know it will continue to change and alter at an unforeseeable rate. There are multiple strategies and points to remember in this industry. So what can we do to make sure we don’t back the wrong horse in this media race?

The first point is Awareness. Disruption is an active trend and will continue to be, because competition drives innovation. As we’ve stated in blog posts passed, blockbuster’s policies created Netflix, Netflix’s successful content drove amazon to do the same, and online streaming encouraged the cord-cutting and cord-free lifestyles. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The ripple effect is coming, the size and the scale of the ripples is the tricky part to nail down. Hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

The second point is Independence. Today we have the convenience of choice in the media world. It is impossible to watch everything and consume all of the created content. So we have to choose between Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Vudu, and so on. Do not get too attached to one service. Be willing to change to better providers whenever possible. As the media and Tv world That doesn’t mean avoid using just one service, but don’t get dependent on any service or service provider. Always remember that suppliers need consumers and not the other way around. Sometimes there aren’t many options, but, legally, there cannot be a monopoly, so value your choices.

The third point is flexibility, be willing to adapt. This goes hand-in-hand with independence. Always compare your current services to new services. Playing favorites could get you left behind as the current phases give way to disruptive new trends.

The fourth and final point, never settle. Nothing in the media world will ever be the end-all be-all for content, service, and/or features. Disruption creates something new and exciting, so explore every and all possibilities. It used to be said that “as consumers compete, customers win,” so let’s make that true old adage true again.

Disruption Occurring in the Media and TV Industry

Throughout the entire semester, we’ve detailed the disruption of the media and television industry. From the rise of video giants like Blockbuster to their ultimate demise, we’ve seen how seemingly untouchable businesses can fall victim to disruption. The current landscape shows mainstream use of online streaming services. These platforms provide consumers with not only more convenient options, but increased offerings tailored to viewer preferences. With the widespread adoption of these services, along with other platforms that offer services similar to cable at a cheaper price, more consumers than ever are cutting the cord.  Watch a summary of our findings below:

 

To learn more about the processes and programs we used to facilitate our learning, click here.

Here’s our take on how to adapt to these disruptive times in the media and television industry.

 

Learning about Disruption, through Disruption

To begin our Disruption class, of course, we had to be disrupted.  Before our first class, we received an email from Professor Shannon saying that we had to sign up for Slack.  Most of the class had never heard of Slack before, but now we could not get through the class without it.  Slack is a website that makes working as a team easier than ever, allowing everyone to see all group communication in their designated channel, as well as look on to what other groups are doing, so everyone is on the same page.  Not only did we have to register for Slack, but we also had to download the app on our phones and the desktop application, giving us access to all of the information in our Slack channels at all hours of the day.  As the Media and TV group, we did all of our work in our respective channel.

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In this channel, we were able to plan out our assignments, schedule meetings, discuss our findings, and decide how we were going to put together our blog posts.  Each group had their own Slack channel, and we also had a general class channel, where we regularly post articles on disruption that we find interesting and want to share with our classmates.

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Not only did we have to learn about Slack before we were even in class, during the first week, we had to integrate Slack with Trello, Shannonweb, and our Gmail accounts.  Trello is another very useful website that helps teams organize themselves in a very transparent way.  Each team has their own Trello page where we were able to make notecards online to determine what we were planning on doing, what we were currently doing, and what he had already finished.  This was extremely helpful throughout because it kept us on task and focused on what our goals were with our blog posts.

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To help us stay on the same page even further, we created our own individual note cards to keep track of our individual tasks.  The notecards provided a convenient place to keep all of our links for information, allowed us to create a checklist to keep track of everything that we had to do, and set a deadline to make sure that all of our tasks were completed on time.

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Now that we have learned how to use these useful tools, we have successfully overcome an instance of disruption as we were learning about disruption.  Being able to learn and adapt is the most important thing when being disrupted.  You need to be flexible in order to be successful, and giving in to Professor Shannon and embracing Slack, Trello, and all of our integrations has made this semester and this project much, much easier.  Going forward, we can now bring Slack and Trello to our future group projects and introduce disruption to the rest of our classmates, without them even knowing it.

 

Before there was streaming, there was cable

It’s really obvious to trace the disruption of the media industry to Netflix and similar streaming services. Everything was perfectly fine before that, right? It is so easy to ignore the fact that disruption began long before Netflix became mainstream; it began with the growth of cable television.

First, let’s clarify the distinction between broadcast television and cable television. Broadcast television consists of NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX and to an extent, CW. These channels have the largest reach in terms of viewing households, the standard by which reach is measured for television. It is also a very diverse audience that watches, they are measured in terms of the number of adults between the ages of 18-49 watching a program. In terms of how an advertiser chooses to spend their dollars, broadcast channels are sort of a necessity, but may not always be the most efficient use of money. These commercial spots are often tens of thousands of dollars each, if not more.

Cable television however is much more niche in their viewer composition and in the type of programming they offer. Cable TV allows advertisers to reach a more targeted market due to the nature of their programming. The viewers of these channels can be guaranteed on bases such as women between the ages of 25-49 or men between the ages of 18-34.

In addition to allowing advertisers to spend their more dollars more efficiently in targeting, the cost per commercial spot on cable television is significantly cheaper than its broadcast counterparts. So while the reach of cable television may not be as great, it a lot cheaper and a lot more efficient in terms of advertising spend.

There are hundreds of cable channels available to viewers; and because of this, viewers have hundreds of options when it comes to choosing what to watch. The increase in available cable channels has fragmented viewers and ratings alike. There is an ongoing competition between the networks to put out the best programming to attract viewers to their network. There is a big push for fresh, new programming every new season, and this has led to more failed freshmen series for each network. It is rare for a TV series to achieve lasting success in such a competitive landscape.

Cord Cutting, the Demise of the Cable Industry

As we have been discussing throughout the blog, the world we live in is being rapidly disrupted, and the TV and cable industry is not immune to this as people are “cutting the cord” and moving away from cable.  There have long been alternatives to cable, but now they are finally becoming practical and affordable to the general public as people are tiring of being bullied by cable companies by being charged obscene prices for, most of the time, bad service.  This has led to the cord cutting generation canceling their cable subscriptions and moving to cheaper alternatives to watch their favorite shows.

Services like Chromecast used to be considered a luxury, but now that they had added more selections and become more affordable, these services are becoming more and more popular.  Adding Chromecast to your home for $35 along with a few other complimentary services that fit your viewing pleasures can still save consumers hundreds of dollars each year, as the average cable bill comes in around $65 per month.

On top of Chromecast, Netflix, and Hulu, Apple TV is in the midst of launching a “cable-killing app.”  Apple is currently negotiating with CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX, and each of their local affiliated networks to get the rights to each of their live TV streams.  Subscribers to Apple TV will also be able to receive their favorite channels, including ESPN, Discovery, and Disney, just to name a few.  Apple will also have HBO available, allowing them to cover almost every possible platform consumers currently pay the cable companies for.  This is the first time that a “cord free” service will be able to offer live sports, separating Apple TV from the rest of the industry and putting the cable industry in serious jeopardy.  Apple is currently in discussions with the NFL along with Patriots owner, Robert Kraft, to give Apple the rights to broadcast live games on their app.  Currently, Apple TV has the rights to offer NFL Game Pass to subscribers which offers live out-of-market preseason games, as well as all regular season games available the next day, on demand.  If Apple can continue negotiations and get the rights to broadcast live NFL games, similar to Yahoo’s free international broadcast of the Buffalo Bills vs. Jacksonville Jaguars game in London this past weekend, the cable industry will struggle to survive that blow, as Apple TV subscriptions again fall well under the $65 per month consumers pay for cable.  However, until this happens, cable companies still have a huge advantage when it comes to the sports fan because there is not a cord free service that currently offers every option of live sports that viewers can get through cable.

With 12.3 million households, or 11% of television watchers are using cord free broadcasting, investors are beginning to have shaky confidence in the media industry.  Analysts at Goldman Sachs still believe that currently, cable tv is a sound investment, but is becoming much riskier with the advancement of cord cutting and the emergence of the plethora of alternatives consumers can switch to.  These alternatives can be combined to form affordable, inclusive television packages that can cater to each type of viewer and are still cheaper than cable and can be seen in the video below.

 

With all of theses alternatives, cable companies need to learn from past disruption, like Blockbuster, to avoid acting once it is too late and all of their customers are gone.  Cable companies need to act quickly to lower their profit margins, so prices can be lowered and services can be improved.  By lowering prices and upgrading their services to provide better quality as well as features similar to Netflix and HBO, the cable companies will be able to keep all of their current customers and avoid the collapse so many other industries and companies have seen because of disruption.