The Inevitable Disruption of Television

Television as we know it is not going away any time soon, but it is going to be disrupted at some time: all industries are.

But even the largest industries enter periods of transformation — think of once-dominant railroads, wired phone lines, the postal service. The fact of the matter is that periodically, technologies or business model innovations allow start-ups to enter industries offering services that are generally cheaper and more accessible, but of far lower quality. Initially, these innovations are adopted only by the least demanding industry consumers or those who couldn’t afford to participate in existing markets (like the college students who use Reddit to find entertaining Youtube videos instead of paying for HBO). However, over time, these start-ups tend to invest in performance improvements in such a way that allows them to displace industry incumbents (the professionals who are cutting the proverbial cord in favor of Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Instant Video). This is the essence of what we call “disruptive innovation.” It’s transformed a number of industries and is starting to do the same in the world of television.

Read how Maxwell Wessell cut the cord and transformed his Television viewing.

2 thoughts on “The Inevitable Disruption of Television”

  1. The competitive ecosystem is growing rapidly around the incumbents. High quality independent content production costs have been slashed (whether for ENG production or creative), mobile loosely connected viewing devices are selling rapidly(e.g, 5M iPhone5 in 3 days), the international fiber optic network has massive inexpensive longhaul capacity. Cloud services and netbased datacenters have become commodities. The final shoe to drop is going to be the cable/landline-phone “last mile”. When someone figures out how to dis-intermediate them and deliver high volume, high speed TCP/IP from the backbone to the consumer hordes it will be Game Over. My intuition says it is going to be based on a distributed WiFi infrastructure, but who knows.

  2. “The final shoe to drop is going to be the cable/landline-phone “last mile”. ”

    Here in the UK I have to have BTs phone line, even when I don’t really use it. I also have Virgin Medias fiber optic broadband (jeez its fast!)… All that fat pipe going to waste – if only they had the guts/vision to drop BT and give a large chunk of the UK, digital phones…

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