How Much Money Will it Take to Kill Cable Television?
Happy Friday, friends! It has been another wild and crazy week in the Frugal Rules home. It’s starting to get to that time of year when we really can’t let the kids out much as it has been cold and dreary outside. While I love spending time with the little Frugal Rules…I really do, it does make life just a little more on the nutty side.
That said, if you see a rant post running here in the near future you know why!
Amazon is Entering the Content Production Scene
Mention the term cable television in the PF community and you’re likely to get a myriad of responses. You have those who view it as a plague on society and view it as equal to living off payday loans, then you have those with $200+ monthly cable plans. Of course, that’s an over generalization of the two extremes, but you get my point. That said, I’ve written about how we’re not cutting the cord…yet and had a well thought out opposing article to that by my friend Monica. So, obviously, this article on Yahoo Finance stood out to me when I read it earlier this week.
At issue in the article is Amazon, through their Amazon Studios firing another shot at the bow of cable television. They’re sinking just over $1 billion into original new content that will be available on their platform through two new shows – Alpha House and Betas. Amazon identified these two shows as having good potential after testing earlier in the year. As you probably already know, Amazon is not alone in its spending on original content. Netflix is busy spending twice as much to produce its own original content, thus bringing big money into the cord cutting spectrum.
If you’ve not read about Amazon’s plan, it’s actually a good one. They’re going to make the first three episodes of each show available to all and then additional shows will be available to anyone with an Amazon Prime account. According to what I have read, these are only the beginning in a line of shows that Amazon will be premiering over the near future as a means to get more people to use the site and, beyond that, to get more users to sign up for their premium Prime service.
How Long Until Cable Television is Dead?
With that background, we see another attack on the cable television industry. You add Amazon Studios to the growing list of other providers putting out original content and the writing is on the wall – there is more competition for the cable television providers.
Looking at this purely as a consumer, I think this is great for us. Not only does it force the fat cat cable providers to stay on their toes in order to provide quality, but it also means we as consumers have more options. It’s that last part that has the networks scrambling, in my opinion.
Like the landline has become an ancient relic in most homes today thanks to the cell phone, I think at some point in the near future, cable plans are going to become a relic as well. At least, this is the argument made by those on Yahoo Finance – that within five years cable television and our usage of it will be basically extinct.
I don’t know that I think that cable TV will necessarily be gone in that short of a time span, but I do think it’s on the ropes so to speak. Even worse, if these alternative options produce shows that are as good as House of Cards on Netflix, then I’d be worried if I was a cable television executive.
How much spending do you think it’s going to take by competitors to kill cable television? Would you be worried if you were a cable TV executive? Do you have any fun plans this weekend?
Photo courtesy of: TheeErin