According to a report released in April nearly 2.65 million subscribers have abandoned cable or satellite TV since 2008 opting instead for Internet and over the air delivery. Over 1 million of those subscribers cut the cord in 2011 alone! But according to a story released just today by the New York Post cable companies and content creators are trying to change that. According to the report Hulu may one day start requiring users to prove that they pay for a subscription to either cable TV or satellite in order to use their service. Hulu Plus, which has more than 1.5 million paid subscribers could see that number drastically shrink if this were to be implemented right now. I’m sure that this is exactly what they do not want to happen but they are also feeling pressure from content providers and cable companies who are panicking about this cord cutting movement. This move towards authentication is not likely to happen anytime soon but we may see some more popular shows being delayed before they are available to non-subscribers.
I wrote a post just a few days ago about the possibility of Time Warner Cable (TWC) releasing a live streaming app for the Roku streaming devices. At the time I did not think that this rumor was true because it would only encourage more people to cut their cable TV service. But after today’s news I could easily see this app becoming a reality but before you could watch any streaming shows you would have to authenticate that you are a paid subscriber to their service.
This is really sad news. The whole reason that many people are choosing to cut their cable service in favor of these online alternatives is because cable TV is getting so expensive. They are not willing to work with their customers to provide only the channels we want. Instead of allowing us to choose only 30 or 40 channels we want to watch we are forced to pay for 900+ channels that we will never even see. This is just like when the record industry used to force us to buy entire albums of music when all we really wanted was the 2 or 3 popular singles playing on the radio. History is again repeating itself. The question now is, who will win this war…the corporations or the consumers?