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June 2009
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Toasting Television

On the heels of this weekend’s powerful demonstration that American TV News no longer has anything at all valuable to add to the mix, a reminder that the same is basically true of the rest of television.

Brandy and I have been actively debating if there is any point to continuing to subscribe to DirecTV, or if it is time to just rely on the Internet plus Netflix for all of our video needs. At the moment the balance seems to be (barely) on the side of keeping the DirecTV, but it is a close call, and could shift at any moment.

My last real reason for having it was live breaking news. That is gone now. Amy and Brandy still have some reasons to want it though. Especially Amy it seems. We shall see.

The TV Business Is Toast
(Henry Bloget, Huffington Post, 16 Jun 2009)

The traditional TV industry — cable companies, networks, and broadcasters — is where the newspaper industry was about five years ago:

In denial.

There are murmurings on the edges about how longstanding business models will come under pressure as Internet distribution takes over. But, so far, the revenue and profits are hanging in there, so the big TV companies don’t really care.

Specifically, the TV industry’s attitude is the same as the newspaper industry’s attitude was circa 2002-2003: Stop calling us dinosaurs: We get digital; We’re growing our digital businesses; We’re investing in digital platforms; People still recall ads even when they fast-forward through them on DVRs; There’s no substitute for TV ads. Traditional TV isn’t going away: Just look at our revenue and profits!

After saying all this same stuff for years, the newspaper industry figured out the hard way that you can’t stuff the genie back in the bottle. And over the next 5-10 years, the TV industry will figure this out, too.

The rest is worth reading too.

Open Wide!