Originally Posted by Broncos4Life
The strength of any cable company these days is its high speed internet service. So if your talking about video programming you are on to something, but I think it a bit premature. The a la cart possibility is still many, many years away. If there was an a la cart service, how would new channels survive? If not packaged in a bundle, they would never make it. I'm sure something will give and a revolution will begin sometime, but so called middlemen worth billions don't just disappear. They will adapt.
They'll just become ISPs, yes. The days of cable companies being middlemen on video programming are VERY close to the end already because Netflix, Amazon, iTunes, etc. all offer the same kind of media but with a far better format and better understanding of the end user.
There is a reason why Netflix upped the entire first season of House of Cards at once. Their usage statistics tell them that is what their consumers want. These companies are miles ahead on user metrics, much like Google is on the web browsing front. They use that to leverage their services in the optimal fashion - seeming pro-consumer while actually doing what is best for them.
Also, any channel that can't survive in an a la carte environment is a channel that shouldn't exist. This is the most powerful paradigm shift that will bring about a la carte programming in the near future. When the major content providers realize that a la carte not only frees them from a middle man collecting from their customers but that it also gives them the most healthy free market determination of whether a product is viable.
Instead of a cable company paying $2 per channel to Viacom and then charging what they need to from the consumer the consumer can instead just pay Viacom that $2 for any channel they find interesting. The cream of the crop will distinguish itself and the channels that have survived entirely thanks to bundling and that have actually been wasting money will be singled out and eliminated.
Cable and satellite have their place still in a country that still can't offer universal high speed, and the major companies are obviously well into becoming ISPs as it stands now. The video services will in the next several years (5-10) begin to turn into a boutique industry where only a fraction of their total consumers care for it.