Watch Out, Cable

With the rise of video content, it is no surprise that YouTube is trying to become a primary source of media. Recently, YouTube made a change in their channel art dimensions; however, this time it was not just a change for mobile, tablet, or desktop, but also an optimized look for TV. Now any person or company that has a YouTube account can showcase their videos on their channel anywhere.

This is a very exciting development by a major holder of video content, but it brings up a bigger question: should cable and network TV companies be concerned? Ever since the rise of services like Netflix and Hulu, people’s need to have cable to watch their favorite shows has been decreasing.

Here are four reasons I believe cable companies should be nervous:

1. Cost - The price for cable can run up to over $80 a month versus Hulu or Netflix that cost $7.99 a month, with some shows that are free.

2. Exclusive Content - Cable used to be the provider of exclusive content, but now services like Hulu and Netflix have original series that only their members can watch, such as "Arrested Development", "Lilyhammer", or "Up To Speed".

3. Accessibility - Most online video services can be watched on smartphones and tablet devices, where as cable is still primarily limited to TV. People can even use apps on their smart TVs like Sony’s W802 series to use media services, without ever needing to use cable.

4. Advertising - With login-based content providers, advertisers are able to focus more on their target market as each member has provided information about his or herself by what they watch and what they submit.

Instead of advertising to a general audience like a TV commercial would do, companies can market to specific demographics, genders, ages, and interests. Additionally, some services allow customers to choose which advertisement they would like to watch, allowing businesses to market to only interested viewers.

Is this then the death of cable? Probably not (or at least not anytime soon), but they should take notice of these issues and realize they’re not the only ones on the block anymore.