As Bob Dylan would say, “The times, they are a changin’” and that applies from every aspect of media from newspapers to radio to books to cable television programming. Television seems to be getting the most changes lately, as fearful talks of the record industry tanking or bookstores going bankrupt are old news.
Convergence Consulting reported last year that more than one million cable subscribers “cut the cord,” meaning ending their long standing subscriptions, some lasting as long as cable has been around. So how are folks getting their cable television fix? These consumers are instead choosing to combine stand alone broadband and then a series of legal and even illegal “over the top” services.
Now, consider that a mere one million folks who cut the cord, in the shadow of more than 106 million paying TV subscribers, hardly seems like its making a dent. But that’s double the amount of cord cutters from 2011. It seems like this mass exodus is picking up momentum.
Among popular media trends are looking at Millenials, the generation of 16-30 year olds, are changing the way media is consumed. Granted, every generation has made some modifications to media consumption, but of course this mass switch is going to make everything completely different. The generation following (some people call this generation Plurals) will send even more changes into the media conglomerate world. Millenials can at least remember when dial-up and CD players existed – plurals will know nothing but on demand culture. What a terrifying thought.
Consider that these digital forerunners who have an entitled attitude of grabbing whatever they want, whenever they want and by any means necessary, then throw in a painfully difficult job economy, mountains of student loan debt and that the fact that Plurals are predicted to be the first generation anyone can remember that will make less than their parents and you’ll begin to see why cable TV companies are hemorrhaging so much cash. Paying for TV these days is unthinkable.
But there is a solution, lying anywhere from increased product placement to different pay models. It may be a tough storm to weather, but the end is far from nigh.