Houston - we have a problem! No one is watching our channels anymore. Where have all the TV refugees gone?
Who actually uses Cable TV anymore - I most certainly do not? I would argue that my generation is getting more and more comfortable with the on-demand capabilities streaming websites can provide (who wants to be told what to watch anymore?) Moving away from the you-only-have-x-channels-be-happy-socialist-dynamic, individuals are turning to online content. The extremely malleable nature of the internet has been more than capable of accommodating new viewership.
Colorful Digital Solutions to Cable TV's Headaches
Style Haul is a youtube channel, but don't let this fool you - the channel was founded by Stephanie Horbaczewski, the former director of marketing at Saks Fifth Avenue. This isn't your average youtube user channel. With more than 1,800 video bloggers in 81 countries and 72 million subscribers, Style Haul is quite the online media network. In the future, Stephanie hopes to incorporate videos with online stores so that shoppers can see products in action. The popularity of this online channel demonstrates the viability of sustainable digital content distribution.
Another digital solution is gui.de (which for the purposes of my own sanity I will spell as "guide" from here on out). Guide's approach is to make convertible the internet's boundless amounts of written information. Instead of reading a news article, blog post or social media post, guide hopes to convert the text to speech WITH accompanying video. The videos, reminiscent of traditional broadcast journalism, give you the option to watch internet content. Instead of scrolling through the morning news as a ritual, you can cue up videos and watch the news in the background as if it were a TV show. This makes news articles more appealing and dynamic. Plus, you can choose which character reads the news to you - man, woman, child, robot etc.
With ads sales continually being dwarfed by internet marketing dollars, cable TV is slowly becoming a thing of the past. These two examples really point to the fact that Cable TV needs to adapt - not fight against the tide. By no means is it the 11th hour for Comcast or Cox, however a change is coming.
Cable TV has to find sustainable plans to integrate itself with online media - providing more customization, personalization and relevance to the viewer. Television manufactures have already taken cues on these trends and introduced "smart" TVs that connect to the internet and provide a greater range of materials, interface and connect ability.
It is time that cable giants stop being so lazy. It's time to wake up and smell the 21st century media landscape.