Generally, I don't like it when things die although I've come to accept it as a part of life and business.
Everything has a lifespan and when that time is up, it's over. You don't see much of the horse and buggy nowadays and that's probably a good thing. Back in the day, before cars were a thing, NYC had to collect and remove 2.5 million lbs of horse crap EVERY DAY. Add on top of that 60,000 gallons of horse urine a day. The summer afternoon commute home must have been delightful.
All that being said, there were people whose lives and businesses were massively disrupted by the invention of the automobile and the death of the horse and buggy. As Gary Vaynerchuk said, "There was a guy who bought 1200 horses the day the automobile was invented." Of course he's making that up, but the point is very relevant.
Innovation doesn't wait for anybody.
And the cable companies are about to be stuck with 1200 horses.
I fired off a series of tweets tonight with some random thoughts on TV:
"Actual conversation with my Airbnb guest just now: Me: Did you figure out how to use the TV? Him: Nope, we don't need it"
"I love that on so many levels. When I'm traveling, TV is definitely far down on my list of priorities. It's also a sign of what's coming"
"I just realized that I hadn't turned on my own TV since Sunday night. That definitely feels like progress"
"I could go without cable TV forever if it weren't for sports. Sports is going to be the glue that holds the TV world together"
"Once everything has properly decoupled, I won't need 800 channels filled with crap I don't watch. I just need 1 + sports. That's it"
"Give me my HBO, ESPN, the Yankees and live streaming of all major sports and my TV requirements will be fulfilled"
There comes a time when every monopolistic run is over. People have options now. HULU and Netflix and YouTube and Vine and Facebook Video and Snapchat Stories and Periscope / Meerkat and even Podcasts. They are all fighting for a tiny piece of the Cable TV pie. The difference is that every one of them is focused on delivering an amazing experience for the consumer. Contrast that with Cable TV where I am required to lock myself into a crazy, multi-year contract where all of the plans require me to buy a product that is 95% is irrelevant to me.
Cable companies are failing miserably to catch on because they've become too comfortable over the years. They are like a professional weightlifter who hasn't worked out in 20 years and is now trying to get back into shape. It's a little sad and embarrassing, and it is definitely not productive. Cable companies need to massively reinvent themselves and do so very soon or they are going to go the way of the horses.