When I watch a thriller or detective movie, I find myself paying a lot of attention to minor things – a front desk clerk, a random event like what’s playing on a TV in a bar – because inevitably the end of the movie involves something that was hinted at earlier. The key is usually something to which no one seems to be paying attention but would have been recognized as highly significant had they been.
I thought of that when I read a couple of articles over the last week and as I’m going through the reports of yesterday’s new iPad announcement. Let’s see if the pieces – none of which is seen as a big deal – get you thinking about the ending as they do to me.
First off, there was the report from Nielsen that looks at cord-cutters – those homes that have abandoned cable TV and are using the Internet and over the air signals to watch the programming they previous got via cable:
Though less than 5 percent of TV households, homes with broadband Internet and free, broadcast TV are on the rise—growing 22.8 percent over last year. These households are also found to exhibit interesting video behaviors: they stream video twice as much as the general population and watch half as much TV.
Even among those who haven’t cut the cord, there is a shift to video and Internet provided by the telephone companies:
The number of homes subscribing to wired cable has decreased 4.1 percent in the past year at the same time that telephone company-provided and satellite TV have seen increases of 21.1 percent and 2.1 percent, respectively.
Maybe it’s in part due to higher bit-rates available from companies traditionally seen as ISP’s? After all, access to broadband Internet is a big priority:
Demonstrating that consumers are increasingly making Internet connectivity a priority, 75.3 percent pay for broadband Internet (up from 70.9% last year); 90.4 percent pay for cable, telephone company-provided TV or satellite. Homes with both paid TV and broadband increased 5.5 percent since last year.
OK – that’s a few of the “minor” characters – nothing huge there. Now add this:
Across Europe, the Web has surpassed TV as the primary platform for 18-to-35 viewers to watch their favorite sport, according to new research conducted by Havas Sport & Entertainment for the Global Sports Forum Barcelona.
Stateside, the evidence suggests that more sports nuts are choosing to forgo pay-TV services for Internet services. According to The NPD Group, iVOD users reduced the time they spent watching television shows, news and sports via pay-TV companies by 12% between August 2010 and August 2011.
Every major sports league has some sort of online pay package available, which is not new. Now let’s add in the new iPad which is becoming the second screen of choice for a lot of people along with an improved AppleTV that makes putting streamed content on to your HD television a snap. Suddenly, we might be looking at a milestone (and the end of the movie for some businesses). Live sports is one of the (and I think THE) killer apps. Up until recently it’s been hard (or illegal) to find your live sport of choice outside of pay TV available through a cable operator. Suddenly, higher speed broadband married to better devices married to that content being available via your ISP and the ability to throw it on to your big screen TV with no loss of quality while marrying it to apps, data, and social interfaces might be a twist no one saw coming. Except I think maybe now we can.
What do you think?