Sabtu, 31 Desember 2011

What's Coming In 2012: The Age Of Ubiquity (For Some)

This is the last in a series of posts over the next week that will highlight key people, companies and trends to watch in 2012 in the sectors we cover most, from publishing to legal, and from mobile to advertising.

Not too long ago, TV Everywhere was a bold concept being evangelized by Time Warner (NYSE: TWX) CEO Jeff Bewkes: subscribers would pay once for programming on cable or satellite, then have access to that content across platforms and devices. It provided a potential solution for multichannel operators frustrated by programmers sharing their content for free digitally with consumers directly and for programmers looking for leverage with digital rights and access, and could be a valuable anti-cord cutting tool.

Bewkes offered Time Warner’s own premium HBO, available only as pay TV through cable, satellite or telecom, as an example of how it would work. Subscribers who paid for HBO on, say, Comcast (NSDQ: CMCSA), would have access to HBO Go via authentication. It worked beautifully, offering instant online subscription video on demand (SVOD) of current shows, The Sopranos, The Wire and more while expanding the potential value for subscribers by untethering it from the TV. The catch?

Subscribers have no control over access. It only worked as long as Time Warner and Comcast or other pay TV distributors could agree on terms. It took two years for HBO to be available to the bulk of its pay TV subs via authentication on computer or portable devices; major holdouts Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) and Cablevision (NYSE: CVC) only signed on as 2011 came to a close. That came after TWC and Cablevision added a twist—asserting that the channels they traditionally provided through TV could be available on any screen through an in-house network. 
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