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Traditional Subscription TV... On it's death bed?

Discussion in 'Home Cinema & Hi-Fi' started by Gimpymoo, Sep 19, 2019.

  1. Gimpymoo

    Capodecina

    Joined: May 31, 2005

    Posts: 14,788

    Location: Nottingham

    Referring to Cable and Satellite subscriptions with yearly contracts paid per month.

    Are we at that crossroads yet where subscription numbers are falling or have we already been there for a while?

    With sooo many "over the top" services people can subscribe to (no yearly contract), is there still high demand for traditional subscription television?

    From a "quality" aspect (overall, not programming quality), I do think Cable/Satellite serves a purpose as the internet based offerings are still lacking quality wise (some still standard def for crying out loud, some 720p).

    For me, one thing I have found with the over the top services is the apparent lack of ability to SKIP adverts sometimes. Most do but for on-deman on NowTV, you cannot skip some stuff.

    I am not saying these services are dead but as the decline started?
     
  2. 233

    Capodecina

    Joined: Nov 21, 2004

    Posts: 12,580

    Location: Glasgow

    speaking to friends who work in the industry sub numbers are still climbing slowly but cost per aqusition is on the up, most people who want it already have it so thres a smaller and smaller pool of potential customers to chase
     
  3. spoffle

    Capodecina

    Joined: Jul 4, 2012

    Posts: 16,269

    You can subscribe to a few different streaming sites and not even come close to the basic package cost of cable or satellite TV.

    I had cable recently, but only because it came in a bundle with a Virgin Internet connection. Now I'm not with Virgin any more, I don't have any broadcast TV capability. I never actually watched it because I watch everything through my Apple TV. Either Amazon Prime video, Netflix, or local media rips through through Kodi. I have had no need for a broadcast TV package for the last 10 years, if not more like 15.

    Disney+ is gonna be one of the nails in the coffin for subscription broadcast TV I think.
     
  4. 200sols

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jan 14, 2018

    Posts: 2,202

    Location: Hampshire

    I think for sports its still the only option.
     
  5. Gimpymoo

    Capodecina

    Joined: May 31, 2005

    Posts: 14,788

    Location: Nottingham

    You still have a generation I guess who move into their first home and get subscription TV as it is what they remember as a kid when they were at home.

    The difference is, 25 years ago, TV/On demand over IP was far from a "replacement" for linear TV, even on-demand was limited to Cable for the most part and even then was basic PPV.

    Today, it is much more difficult to justify value from the cost the providers charge when some people will have their own subsriptions for Netflix and the like. The same customers also likely place more value in their Netflix sub than their whole subscription TV package.

    Sports seems the only sector where linear TV is still viable at present however, am I wrong in thinking younger people are becoming less interested in sport as a hobby as to watch or participate?
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2019
  6. Radox-0

    Mobster

    Joined: Mar 9, 2015

    Posts: 2,662

    Location: Earth

    I think its changing somewhat from what I can see. In mid 20s here and not bothered with traditional subscription at my place, brother a few years younger, likewise at his place. Most friends I also know with their own place do not have it either.

    Use Netflix, Amazon Prime and Now TV. Amazon Prime I would have anyways due to sheer amount of stuff I order. Netlfix I can play 4 streams at once and share account with brother and parents at their home. Now TV is brothers but shares with me his cinema and entertainment pass (each time it goes full price, go to cancel and get pass's half price). Between those 3 services, more then enough content. So all 3 places sharing around £30 in subscriptions with all content we really watch. Absolute no brainier, also not ran into an issue once of people all limiting out number of simultaneous streams in last few years.

    Sports is the only tricky part, though mainly only bother with Boxing and F1 though
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2019
  7. Psycho Sonny

    Caporegime

    Joined: Jun 21, 2006

    Posts: 30,623

    Younger people aren't less interested in sport overall. It's just that this generation younger people have less disposable income than ever. So with budgets being squeezed the first thing to go is sky. When you can just pay £10 a month for netflix. Also illegal options are available too and easier to find nowadays with zero cost to you.

    I have Sky Sports and tbh there is only 4 games per year I watch on it. Which is waste. The money I'm paying them I could buy a season ticket instead.
     
  8. lucid

    Mobster

    Joined: May 29, 2010

    Posts: 4,896

    Location: Cheshire

    25 years ago....... that was 1994. There wasn't broadband at that point, was there?

    Any of us online at that point were enduring the whistles bleeps and clicks of 56k dial-up I think. TV over IP in the UK didn't exist, neither did digital TV for that matter. ADSL hit in the late 90's, then broadband came in - albeit in a limited form - in 2000.

    Cable TV was something different, but there still wasn't widespread VOD until the various regional cable operators were brought together under the Virgin brand, and that was 2006.
     
  9. lucid

    Mobster

    Joined: May 29, 2010

    Posts: 4,896

    Location: Cheshire

    My observation is that, as far as contract TV services go, the young gravitate towards what they use most often, and for the most part that's not TV in general because its linear. Netflix, YouTube and Amazon Prime are the go-to services.
     
  10. Gimpymoo

    Capodecina

    Joined: May 31, 2005

    Posts: 14,788

    Location: Nottingham

    Yeah, I did not mean to go that far back :D

    Side note though, in the late nineties, my local Cable operator DID have VOD in the form of PPV like I said, they had something called "Front Row"...

     
  11. MissChief

    Capodecina

    Joined: Jul 17, 2010

    Posts: 16,176

    How long do you think Netflix will continue to allow multiple simultaneous streams from different addresses on the same account? With Amazon, Facebook, Disney and Google having their own streaming services and WAY deeper pockets than Netflix will ever have they'll need to stop the rot eventually and, much like they started blocking VPN's so you couldn't watch foreign content they will eventually stop this. It's lost revenue to them and they've been doing OK despite it but that won't last.

    I can't see them introducing adverts, but they will need to stop revenue loss as people go to Disney+
     
  12. Donnie Fisher

    Gangster

    Joined: Jun 22, 2018

    Posts: 375

    Location: Vegas baby !

    I think what draws/keeps a lot of people to the traditional subscription model is the simplicity of it. Take Sky for example ... to its credit, the user interface is not that bad, its pretty decent at staying workable and can be worked by all ages. Your average middle aged technophobe is unliklely to change away from an all in one TV device which he can work to multiple smaller subscriptions each requiring their own logins, apps etc etc.

    I dont know figures, but I wouldn't be surprised to find that majority demographic of subscribers is mid 30's onwards ... as they are the generations where as already said, never grew up having an alternative feed for TV ( such as streaming ). They are also likely to be the ones paying the bills whilst the younger generation still are at home.

    Once the younger generation begins to fly the nest and pay for their own, having grown up learning that they can source TV from more than just Sky/cable ... they'll likely be more savvy and seek a tailored package ... at the cost of not having Sky / cable etc.

    I think we are beginning to turn towards that transition point.
     
  13. lucid

    Mobster

    Joined: May 29, 2010

    Posts: 4,896

    Location: Cheshire

    What your clip shows isn't VOD though. It's simply multi-start PPV.

    VOD is where you decide to watch something now, and it streams directly from the servers. You pause it while answering the door, and then take up where you left off rather than missing the intervening 5 minutes.
     
  14. cheesyboy

    Capodecina

    Joined: Dec 7, 2012

    Posts: 11,744

    Location: Gloucestershire

    Can't imagine Gen-Z are going to be buying traditional subscription TV packages are they? Do they even watch broadcast TV?

    I'm an elder millennial and I don't think I've watched any 'live' broadcast TV since the football world cup!
     
  15. Radox-0

    Mobster

    Joined: Mar 9, 2015

    Posts: 2,662

    Location: Earth

    Dunno will be interesting. On one hand the higher tier plans allow for 4 devices which come part of the 4K service for which you pay extra (what I actually brought plan for before coming across fact you can do multiple devices) to stream simultaneously so can fully envisage even those using it in one house saying we’ll we want use some devices on holiday, or out and about etc will be curious to see how if ever they enforce this.
     
  16. Gimpymoo

    Capodecina

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    Location: Nottingham

    True :D
     
  17. String

    Capodecina

    Joined: Jan 6, 2013

    Posts: 11,960

    If Now TV wasn't such garbage picture quality then it would probably get my cash more often. I use it for Sports day pass as I only watch the odd game, and it always reminds me how poor the quality is.
     
  18. MissChief

    Capodecina

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    Posts: 16,176

    1080p is coming.
     
  19. cheesyboy

    Capodecina

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    Location: Gloucestershire

    The sound quality gets me, and I'm no audiophile. Westworld sounded like it was playing through a Gameboy!
     
  20. Gimpymoo

    Capodecina

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    Location: Nottingham

    Unskippable adverts when launching on-demand content put me off NowTV.

    Do they still do that?