Pat Kitano from Domus Consulting sees social media as a key enabler of curatorship in the development of personal broadcasting channels in this article (well, obviously), but has some interesting things to say nonetheless around the audience as affiliate, and emerging public broadcasting platforms such as Justin.tv… (with its transaction model).

The ever insightful Bob Cringley also writes elegantly on the encumbent and emerging models too… here, I quote…

“No business or technology exists in a vacuum.  They all have customers, users, competitors, and make use of resources in an environment that is not one of total abundance.  This means that if there is going to be something like television in the future it is going to adapt to the distribution model that offers the highest price/performance, which is to say the highest performance for the lowest cost.  That is not how one would traditionally describe the Internet, but then times are changing.

Whatever country you live in there are generally four models for live entertainment video distribution — broadcast, cable, satellite, and Internet…


…The important lesson to learn when it comes to these competitive services is that the first three — broadcast, cable, and satellite — are all going up in cost to their providers while the cost of providing Internet service is going down.  In the USA, broadcast viewership is dropping, which means the cost per viewer is rising.  Same for cable where viewers are stagnant, viewership is declining (number of hours of viewing) and the cost of content is rising.  Satellite has been growing marginally but that could end at any moment and it shares the same content cost increases as cable.  Meanwhile Internet service just gets faster and cheaper thanks to a Moore’s Law double whammy.

Remember Moore’s Law works in two ways.  It makes digital products ever cheaper AND ever more powerful.  This has profound meaning for Internet TV because it continually increases the bandwidth we can get for the same dollar while giving our devices the capability to do even more with the same bandwidth…


This is the trend, then: our available bandwidth will go up while our devices will become more powerful, making better use of the bandwidth.  The result, as always with Moore’s Law, is either better services or lower total cost or maybe a little of both.

What this means for the future of television is that we’re approaching a point where Internet service will equal and then be lower than the marginal per-viewer cost of the broadcast TV model.  This crossover will inevitably happen with the only question being when. That’s a function of bandwidth costs decreasing at 50 percent per year and processing power increasing at 50 percent per year.  My calculations suggest the crossover will happen around 2015, which used to seem like a long time away but no longer does.

When Internet TV becomes dramatically, unequivocally, and inexorably cheaper than the other three distribution models, those other models will quickly go away.  That’s why I argued in PBS meetings to forget about spending $1.8 billion to upgrade local stations for digital TV and instead sell or lease that spectrum for commercial data use and throw the resulting $3 billion (lease revenue plus the $1.8 billion savings) into rebuilding the network solely as an Internet service.

Nobody listened.

So there is a cliff rapidly approaching for television.  Five years from now local TV stations will have the same complaints that local newspapers have today as many of them go out of business.  Cable TV operators will become ISPs, period.  Phone companies will be ISPs, too, and analog voice service will be gone completely.  The regulatory implications of these changes should be interesting.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s