Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders
If you want the Internet to keep doing what it does, keep paying your cable bill, and don’t get carried away with the idea of free (free! free!) content.
The next big free idea (sort of) is “TV Everywhere“, the cable industry’s attempt to make cable programming available over the Web — for no extra charge — to paying subscribers. It’s an important initiative for the industry, since Pay-TV companies are concerned that the recession-resistant subscription revenue of cable television could be undermined if cable shows became widely available over the Web.
We asked Glenn Britt, chief executive of Time Warner Cable, what he thinks about the plan, and while he didn’t detail when it will hit the ground, he reminded us that its success is critical. Why? The guys and gals that run the delivery system must be compensated. Think what happens if people (like so many college students I know — and several journalists) start to depend on “free”.
Free doesn’t work in the long run. It works great for consumers, but if you took it to the extreme, and all of the networks put all of their content on websites for free, pretty soon consumers will figure out (they) don’t need to buy subscription video services. Because my business has real cost to it, and we and the phone and wireless companies, we underpin this delivery, for this to happen we have to get paid.