Article first published as The Multi-Screen Era on Technorati.
Cable companies are shaking in their shoes these days. Just like Blockbuster’s bankruptcy in 2010 was described by Maxim Group as “‘End of an era’ summarizes it neatly,” in this article from USA Today.
Cable TV may undergo the same situation if all things are kept the same in their business model.
People are choosing Web TV over Cable TV. This means that networks, movie studios and other screen related entertainment companies need to make a choice (which they are already making): stay on cable TV or direct their entire or most of their programming to websites.
Networks such as CBS and Comedy Central already broadcast full episodes on their websites. There is however one small international issue: some networks restrict their broadcast to US territory alone. This means that if the system detects your IP address to be from another country, you will not be able to watch your favorite show. In Comedy Central’s case, broadcast is open to the world. Even with movies, Netflix overpowered the Blockbuster Business Model long ago.
Now, on the verge of the largest broadcast source migration, does that mean that TV sets will flood garbage deposits around the world? Not quite. If people have a 40 inch flat screen, with the latest gadgets available, it is highly likely that they’ll hook it up to their Apple TV kit, computer, laptop or what not. However, online videos are mainly seen through mobile devices be it smartphones, tablets or portable video game consoles. This translates to a multi-screen audience.
As mentioned earlier, TV networks and Movie Studios are using the Internet as their main broadcast channel. A large number of these companies have adapted their websites so they can be seen in different gadgets. Therefore, Mobile website adaptation (or apps for that matter) are crucial for their current and future success.
All of this leaves Cable TV providers with two options: either they get ready to declare their own bankruptcy like Blockbuster did, or just like Netflix, they come up with a new way to be the online “intermediary”. Although, as Jeff Jarvis describes on “What Would Google Do?” Intermediaries are being crossed off.