Kagan: As cable TV fades, IPTV and 5G wireless pay TV grows



The cable television industry is going through an enormous and rapid change wave. No, we are not giving up cable TV, but a growing number of American’s are watching it differently. The industry is shifting to pay TV which has many different versions. New competition and new ways to watch like IPTV, streaming services and wireless pay TV are rewriting the rules going forward.

Let’s take a look at the changes and what’s coming next for users, investors and workers. Understanding what is happening is crucial for everyone going forward.

Major change waves are hitting the traditional cable TV space and are forcing every player in this space to adapt. Advertising, subscriber fees, new streaming services, wireless and more are all creating a serious debate about what pay TV will look like going forward.

We don’t yet know which companies and which ideas will be the biggest long-term winners and losers with their different models going forward. However, everyone should be aware of the massive changes are reshaping this industry.

Cable TV like Xfinity, Spectrum and Alice must cannibalize to survive

What we do know is today’s leaders must cannibalize themselves to the new services or they will ultimately wither away years down the road. This means cable TV companies like Comcast Xfinity, Charter Spectrum, Altice and all the smaller providers.

That does not mean traditional cable TV is going away tomorrow. It will be with us for quite a while. But it is changing, and it will not be the growing sector.

Cable TV is still an important slice of the pie today. And it will be that way for years to come. However, as customers move to new technology and competitors, this slice will get smaller and smaller.

Today’s television providers are a mix of old and new. Cable TV companies are both traditional cable TV and they are moving to IPTV. As the marketplace shifts to other technologies, traditional cable TV is not growing

AT&T TV, Verizon FiOS deliver pay TV in new ways

AT&T TV and Verizon FiOS deliver TV over the Internet. This is the direction the entire industry is moving to, both over wireless and wire line Internet connections. This is a segment which is seeing growth going forward.

Streaming services like HBO Max, Peacock, Disney+ and Apple TV+ are new services. There is no history of these yet, but this is where growth is expected.

Other players like Hulu, Netflix, Amazon TV and others use the Internet and are a growing segment as well.

Going forward, there will be a time when all of these pay TV providers may completely switch to a new service. Over time, most customers will have switched on their own.

This is similar to the massive Change Wave we saw re-write the wireless industry more than ten years ago when the first iPhone and Android hit the marketplace.

Back then, users liked the new devices, but did not jump into using wireless data apps. They were used to their Motorola, Nokia and Blackberry devices. Back then there were only a few apps.

AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile gave away wireless data to prime the pump

So, the wireless industry and wireless carriers like AT&T Mobility, Verizon Wireless, Sprint and even T-Mobile waved wireless data fees to users in order to let them start to explore and get hooked.

It worked. The number of apps exploded from a few hundred to millions, virtually overnight. The first generation of apps were games, but as the years passed apps became serious.

Now there are countless apps to help us navigate with GPS, manage our healthcare, banking, communications, research, shop, social media and so much more.

Wireless and pay TV industries will come together

In fact, these apps will continue to expand with wireless pay TV going forward. This will be a boost for both the wireless and Pay TV industries as these two industries come together.

And we haven’t even begun to scratch the surface yet. There are so many growth opportunities for companies who are bold enough to go out and create them.

Streaming services are the next variety of pay TV. They are delivered over the Internet or IPTV, over both wireless and wire line network connections.

Streaming services like HBO Max, Peacock, Disney+, Apple TV+

This is where services like HBO Max, Peacock, Disney+ and Apple TV+ are coming from. We are creating the next generation of pay TV services for America to fall in love with.

Streaming will not replace cable TV or pay TV but will be another slice of the pie for customers to choose from.

However, like the wireless industry when the first iPhone and Android came to market, there are always plenty of questions that need to be answered.

Steve Jobs of Apple said consumers don’t know what they want

Consumers are not always the place to find the answers. Often, executives at companies must be bold and develop the next big thing, then let the marketplace rush to catch up. This was Steve Job’s strategy at Apple for his entire career.

Sometimes, they hit the nail right on the head. Other times they miss, but that’s the marketplace. Eventually all companies can read the future of the industry and all fall in line behind the leaders.

That’s where we are with the changes in the cable TV world. Customers are increasingly cutting the cord for traditional cable TV and moving to new services and there are plenty if you consider Streaming Services, AT&T TV, Verizon FiOS, Hulu, Amazon, Netflix and all the others.

World of pay TV is changing with IPTV, wireless TV and streaming services

The world of pay TV is changing. It has been changing over the last decade and will continue to change going forward.

There are still plenty of users who continue to prefer traditional cable TV, but that segment will continue to shrink as we move forward. However, this shrinking segment will remain with us for quite a while.

Growth will come from new services.

What will pay TV look like going forward?

The real question is what will the Pay TV marketplace look like going forward? What will it look like five or ten years from now?

Will today’s leaders be tomorrow’s leaders, or will new thinking change everything creating an upset.

I tend to think todays leaders can be tomorrows leaders as long as they are willing to change with the times. They have a unique opportunity and challenge if they can manage it well.

They must strike the right balance. They must both hang onto their traditional customer base as long as possible, while leading in the next marketplace with new technology which we are moving into.

This is difficult to balance. Some companies do it better than others. But every leader today must do this if they want to succeed moving forward.

That’s why leaders must cannibalize themselves if they want to continue to be leader’s tomorrow. There is no other choice. We cannot stop change. We are always moving forward.

Although I know plenty of CEO’s of today’s leading companies who would like to slow the pace of change down a bit, if only they could.


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