Technology has an amazing capacity to change, adapt and upend the status quo.
Right now, it’s happening when people “cut the cord,” wherein people drop their cable or satellite provider, and move toward other options.
Supporters note that going “a la carte” allows them to tailor their television experiences very specifically, and alleviates having to pay for channels that don’t interest them.
Technology has made that incredibly easy to do.
Some opt to watch programming over their laptops. And now, many new televisions offer a variety of apps built in, which allow subscribers to access products such as Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime. That in turn offers viewers an opportunity to have a more a la carte experience.
The downside is, there may be a delay in watching programming, which sometimes goes to cable and satellite first.
Live sports programs can also be a challenge, although with an antenna, cord cutters can still watch over-the-air programming on the major networks — which includes the sports programs broadcast on those channels.
Cable and satellite providers still have devout customers. One told me that he’s had the same provider for the last eight years, his rate has never changed, and he’s happy with the service. Other fans of cable or satellite say they like the ease of it. Everything is right there, with a plethora of options, often with a DVR to record stuff for them.
Statistically speaking, nationwide, TechCrunch.com reports that in 2014, 8.2 percent of former pay television subscribers ditched their services. And an additional 45.2 percent said they reduced their cable or satellite TV services.
It appears that to survive without further disruption, cable and satellite providers are going to have to find a way to allow viewers to have a similar experience — or a better one.
This isn’t the first industry to face this challenge. Cell phones completely upended the concept of the traditional home telephone. Tablet computers are taking over a bigger chunk of the home computer market, with users increasingly turning to tablets over desktop computers.
In order to continue to survive and thrive, industries will have to stay on their toes and get creative.
Readers, have you decided to “cut the cord” and find alternative ways to watch programming, or are you sticking with your traditional provider? Share your experiences with us. Send us a Letter to the Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org, or comment on this column online at www.yumasun.com.