In 1970 a television was expensive and TV programming was free for most people. Today a much better television is inexpensive and tv programming is relatively expensive.
In the same time frame the telephone has undergone an almost opposite change. In 1970 the phone was free but calling anywhere except locally was expensive. Now long distance calls are part of your monthly service charge but the phone is increasingly expensive.
But these revenue models are still evolving. Some examples are:
* The advertising model for delivery of network television is threatened by the DVR. Viewers now have the ability to skip ads.
* Use of the smart phone for viewing what was historically tv content is growing.
* Young people are disconnecting from traditional cable and seeking content online.
* Binge watching of content from archives is fragmenting viewing groups. It used to be that a substantial percent of people watched All in the Family on Tuesday night.
* The need for band width to allow all of this individualized programming is setting of a land rush for available spectrum.
This all sounds complicated and scary but it means that there are great opportunities for new players, new ideas and new attempts to build sustainable revenue models in this evolving ecosystem.
I’m excited to see what comes next.