Susan Crawford, a professor at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and the author of “Captive Audience,” says she thinks television bundles will be with us for a while — six to eight years — regardless of what the consumer wants.
“It’s like the picked-on kid who tries to get home to his front porch; he has to make it past all the bullies first,” she said. “We have a heavily defended, heavily concentrated programming industry and a monopoly in distribution, with none of the big players willing to act like a maverick. No one wants to break ranks because the current system has been so lucrative.”
Here’s how college students get video content, from most to least utilized:
- Streaming sites
- Netflix (usually family’s or a friend’s family’s account)
- Family cable/HBO Go account
The only people I know who have opted to get cable after graduating are sports fans. It they aren’t the kind that cares about March Madness, they aren’t paying for more than an Internet connection.
Six to eight years sounds about right for the amount of time it will take for the growing population of cable-cutters to disrupt the current TV business model. After all, it is a rather small portion of the total population, seeing as how there are over 100 million “households” in America and over 90% of them pay for some kind of television subscription.
Maybe that means we can get the last season of Game of Thrones all at once, House of Cards-style? *fingers crossed*