Cord Cutters: an undeniable trend ?

The number of cord cutters in the USA is exploding. What does this mean for the entertainment business ?

August 22, 2018

Benjamin Vos

New headaches for cable operators and satellite distribution companies

New numbers show a significant higher number of cord cutters and 'cord nevers' than earlier predictions. I invite you to read Variety's article here.

Let me share my own story.

About 2 years ago a fantastic service started in the Netherlands and was called ‘Knippr’, an app running on my Apple TV.  For 10 bucks a month I could watch live television for a selected number of TV channels: public TV and a set of the most popular commercial broadcasters and each new channel I added would cost me 0.99 cents. I was able to start a program from the beginning and almost zero downtime. So I cut my cable cord, saving me around 40 bucks a month and I was happy.

Unfortunately the Knippr service, developed by T-mobile not in television distribution at the time, stopped as T-Mobile started television signal distribution via their fibre network they bought from Vodafone. So I was forced to go back in time and ‘rent’ a box. Ok, it has a recorder built in, I never use, but that’s the only positive experience. In the wireless age I had to go back and ‘wire’ the box with a network cable to the modem in another room. So I had to demolish my wood work in order to hide the wire from my wife.

On top of that I discovered I can choose from an astonishing number of channels I will never watch in my lifetime. So already after 2 months we decided to stop when my yearly contract expires.

The alternative, just started after the installation of the ‘box’ is called NL Ziet. It’s an app for Apple TV and it offers the public networks and a bunch of popular commercial channels for 10 bucks a moth. Ideal ? No. I have to pay for a services while I already pay for the public channels and I ‘pay’ indirectly to commercial channels because they are stuffed with ads. And the services does not offer channels like ‘Comedy Central’ Scifi Channel’ and ‘National Geographic’. Channels I’m happy to pay a 0.99 cents per month.

And that’s the only possible outcome to this nightmare: 0.99 cents per month for a channel I choose freely.

The cable companies are like huge oil tankers and we know companies these size are very difficult to change in direction. But the numbers don’t lie as well as the inherent demand for freedom of choice.  

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