Maybe the future of cable is uncertain, maybe it’s not. Is the future of anything certain? No. You’re not a freaking psychic, stop trying. Tomorrow there could be a shortage of butter like there was in Europe recently, just because of bad luck, but it’ll all come back in the end.
Anyway, let’s talk about the future of cable because it’s interesting and no, it’s not even close to being “dead.” Recently, the big cheese at YouTube said that certain cable television channels with small, lackluster audiences will one day migrate to the web and become available on a stand-alone basis, potentially finding a permanent home for themselves on the No. 1 video website.
YouTube is looking to adapt a subscription model for consumers, much like Hulu or Netflix provide. Getting a chunk of that market share would be a huge, lucrative move for Google. And YouTube may focus on networks that have smaller audiences on cable, which receive little to no affiliate fees from distributors.
Now, traditionally, cable channels are sold in these preset groups of up to 100 channels – many customers aren’t so pleased with this model, because hey, it’s 2012, and even the lowest priced packages are increasing with inflation.
Cable companies are wont to lend out these networks, even the smaller ones, as computer giants like Intel, Mircosoft and Google have begged for internet bundles to sell. These network owners are refusing because it may undermine their lucrative $100 billion relationship with traditional distributors. Yeah.
Let’s see how long that lasts, before cable has to change their model. In this case, the sooner the better may be the best route. Google is finding it too expensive to bring exclusive content to their website, but someday, it won’t be too much to pay – it’ll be the only way to pay.