Why Do People Want Free TV?

Emmy Advanced Media – Television Business News: MythTV … a non-mythical solution Shelly Palmer, Chair of the Advanced Media Committee New York Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (whew!), is out with a television industry insider’s write up that initially examines the realistic threat to the television industry of MythTV (given Sunday’s front page article on the software in the New York Times), but then turns to examine the reasons why consumers want free TV in the first place. Initially Palmer refers to MythTV as a DIY TiVo but notes that the Times lumps it into “a genus of technologies dedicated to helping people steal pay-per-view and premium television.”

Then Palmer’s article kind of turns.

As a television veteran, Palmer basically challenges the networks to rethink what they offer the television viewer by way of a value proposition:

“So the conversation has to turn to why. Why do people want free TV? Is is because TV is too expensive? Yes. Is it because the current commercial structure is so emotionally unsatisfying that people will do anything to skip commercials? Yes. Is it that programming mostly sucks and individuals who can take control of their viewing experiences will take control? Yes. In fact, is there any possible reason that someone who could change the way they consume television wouldn’t change it? No.

So, the problem really isn’t the technology. The problem is that the TV industry has been enjoying a technological monopoly for so long that it has forgotten how to serve its customers. How quickly will the industry learn that the past decades of research never, ever asked the most important question: If you could watch this show at your convenience, on any device, anywhere you are at anytime, would you still watch the show?

This particular media advancement is the true definition of Advanced Media. The solution for the television industry is explosively complicated in practice, but in principle it’s easy: improve the customer experience and clarify the consumer value proposition to keep your customers.”

It is refreshing to see someone from within the television industry come up with a truly critical self examination that may be the first step necessary for the television industry to heal itself.

By the way, anyone ever notice what the initials of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) spells backwards?

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