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Wireless power utilization

Apples recent patent on power utilization is interesting and some what incremental patent to what has already been developed. I do however look forward to the day when we move beyond induction to charge our smart phones.

Number of U.S. television homes down

The 2012 UEs also reflect a reduction in the estimated percent of U.S. homes with a television set (TV penetration), which declined to 96.7 percent from 98.9 percent. The last such UEs decline occurred in 1992, after Nielsen adjusted for the 1990 Census, and subsequently underwent a period of significant growth. Potential interrelated factors for the 2012 UE downward shift in TV penetration include:

  1. Digital Transition: The summer of 2009 marked a significant milestone with a shift from analog to digital broadcasting. Following the transition, consumers were only able to view digital broadcasts via a set with a built-in digital tuner (i.e., a newer TV set) or an analog TV set connected to a digital-to-analog converter box, cable or satellite. TV penetration first dipped after this transition; the permanence of this trend was acknowledged in 2010 after the number of TV households did not rebound over time.
  2. Economics: As with previous periods of belt-tightening, the cost of owning a TV is a factor in this UE decline; TV penetration first saw sustained decreases in second quarter 2009. Lower-income, rural homes were particularly affected.
  3. Multiple Platforms: Nielsen data demonstrates that consumers are viewing more video content across all platforms—rather than replacing one medium with another. However, a small subset of younger, urban consumers are going without paid TV subscriptions. Long-term effects of this are unclear, as it’s undetermined if this is also an economic issue, with these individuals entering the TV marketplace once they have the means, or the beginning of a larger shift to viewing online and on mobile devices

Nielsen Estimates Number of U.S. Television Homes to be 114.7 Million | Nielsen Wire.

Is content a comododity?

We have all enjoyed the cost benefits of digitized media from Itunes, Amazon and a host of others embracing new digital media, devices and distribution channels.  The challenge for all of the publishers, distributors and subscription services is not only how to get more wallet share but also move into higher margin revenue.  Well I think the NY-Times is clearly looking to take high ground with their exclusive marketing approach. Only time can tell us if they are successful and reverse the current commoditization trend for content but lots of on-line eyes are on the prize.

According to Wikopedia a commodity is a good for which there is demand, but which is supplied without qualitative differentiation across a market.[1] A commodity has full or partial fungibility; that is, the market treats it as equivalent or nearly so no matter who produces it. So while others are distributing the same content companies like Magnolia Picture, AOL, Netflix, Comcast, New York Times and WSJ are looking to break away from the pack by providing premium content. Will this strategy work? Premium content exclusivity outside the winning Lotto numbers, sports scores or stock prices for next week will not likely demand a premium price point in a Internet connected world but if the content is temporal like MLB or straight from the theatre, or packaged with other memberships services the verticals become very interesting.

chart of the day, digital subscription prices, march 2011

Source: Business Insider

TV usage trends

Overall time-shifting by U.S. TV audiences increased significantly in the third and fourth quarters of 2010, with the average American watching nearly 10 and a half hours of time-shifted TV at the end of the year. The biggest year-over-year increase was in the third quarter, when time-shifting increased 17.9% over the same period.

TV Usage Trends: Q3 and Q4 2010- Timeshifted Viewing Grows in U.S. | Nielsen Wire.

The emergence of a new asset class

Ever wonder why Facebook is free and still has an insane market valuation or why Google most fears Facebook? Take a look at this report on Personal Data to gain some insights on mining, assimilating, correlating, consuming and selling of personal data and who is likely to buy it and why.


A few more thoughts on OTT TV

I just read an interesting article in MIT Technology Review regarding Over the Top (OTT) Video. Specifically focused on Google Tv. After reading the article I had to ask myself why so many product efforts have fallen short in offering a Cable Tv alternative. I think the answer is simple they forgot to focus on the problem not the ad revenue. I believe the core problem to solve for most cord cutters is that the basic desire to pay less for Tv, get the most relevant programming and at the same 1080p quality they get from their current provider.  Not so easy to do when content interest are diverging, programmers are charging more and cable companies are forging ahead to extend the current value proposition with mobility features like Tv Everywhere and time shifting enhancements like Remote DVR, expansive VOD libraries, Direct from the Theatre Movies.

Lets look at Google Tv 1.0 and how they focused on making your Tv into a PC. Enabling free Internet content with a more interactive Tv user interface while capturing behaviors and delivering targeted advertising while leveraging Android, Chrome, Adsense and not having to pay programmers for any content. In short at best Google provides a value add service that introduces complexity into the lean back viewing experience or the convenience of not having to start-up your Laptop to connect to the Internet. In short they focused purely on Ad revenues and profits hopping the incremental value and Google brand would inspire adoption. I feel Apple is also far off course as they focused on an ala cart pay per view video model that leveraged the Itunes Store and streamed video to your Tv while integrating music and photos from a PC and Flickr, You Tube, Netflix from the Internet.

Hopefully Google Tv 2.0 will be better and not miss the mark as Apple Tv 2.0 did. Until then the closest thing to an ideal scenario for cord cutters are CE devices that provide Netflix streaming movies and Hulu Plus streaming Tv in 1080p format for a combined $16/month.

Which TV channels can’t cord-cutters live without?

If the never-ending stream of data on cord-cutting has faded into a blur, here’s one new finding that may be of actual interest. In her latest research note, Needham & Co. analyst Laura Martin reported the results of a simple request she made of 300 respondents in October: “Please list which TV channels you must have available online for you to  turn off your TV subscription.” The results contain a few surprises.