Recently I have discovered that there is a hole in the media/entertainment market. Specifically, a lack of consumer choice with regards to the type of programming we can watch on our TV’s or computers. In Canada; consumers have a choice of service providers. Each provider offers “packages” to the consumer. I don’t know about you, but I don’t watch every channel and every program available to me in these packages. I would suspect that 99.99% of consumers are the same in this aspect. In addition, I also suspect that the vast majority of viewers are spending less time watching TV than they did 5 or 10 or 20 years ago. These changes, coupled with new technology that allows us to stream online content directly to our TV monitors should have spawned a new approach by the service companies. But no, from what I can tell, they are still offering the same old packages. Finding content on the internet is often limited in Canada. Surprisingly, I could not find a single site that offered a paid subscription for unlimited access to live and recorded programming. My main search was for sporting events, but I also found that regular TV series programming was also limited in what and when it could be viewed, if at all.
How about this?
Allow consumers to choose programs and channels that they want. No packages. Consumers then will pay for only the programming that is valuable to them, (which they choose to subscribe to) and not a bunch of other channels and programs that they will never use or want. And, why not enhance this even further? Offer these programs as ON Demand services, available via internet by any computer or internet connected TV or even smart phones 24/7.
Susie Q loves to watch “How I met your Mother”, “Big Bang Theory”, the “Insider”, MTV and romantic comedy movies. But Susie works shifts and isn’t always home when her programs are running. But now; with the new “flex-watch what you love” choices by her favourite service provider, she can watch all of these programs, any time she wants “on-demand” on her TV, computer OR smart phone. She can even login from her girlfriends home internet to watch a program during girls night. If she misses an episode, she only needs to search the online menu and find it to watch it. Whats more!! Susie only pays for the programs she has subscribed to, and she can modify her choices AT ANY TIME, without any additional fees.
Jake is a sports nut! He loves all sports but sometimes he can’t watch a game if he is busy with other things. He also loves reality programs and sci-fi horror movies. So Jake has signed up with his favourite service provider and selected the programs he wants, including access to all NHL, NFL, and NBA game broadcasts. Jake can even go to his buddies house, login to his account on his buddies internet and watch the game. Jake only pays for the programs he has chose and can change his choices at any time.
Sounds cool eh? Maybe the service providers will get smart, and start giving consumers what they REALLY WANT. I mean, as far as I can tell, all the technology is in place. Its only the bureaucratic paperwork that needs to be cleared to allow for TRUE consumer choice.
What do you think??