iPad a Potential Threat to Cable, Satellite TV

Diffusion Group recently released a survey showing that iPad owners are likely to cancel pay TV services. Just over a third of iPad owners are considering the switch, but only 12.9 percent of total surveyed are said to be “highly likely” to cancel their subscription television packages, and just 4.3 percent as “extremely likely.”

The iPad, as a portable consumer content consumption tablet, has benefited from the popularity of streaming video services, some paid and some free. Among those include ABC’s streaming video app (free), YouTube videos, and paid services and subscriptions from Hulu Plus and Netflix, which offers streaming TV shows and movies. Additionally, iPad owners can also utilize the iTunes store to buy or rent a la carte titles of popular TV shows and movies as well.


Though many people have threatened to cut their cable or satellite subscriptions, subscriber rates and profits continue to grow in the industry. Just yesterday, the Wall Street Journal reported that DirecTV has added customers in its most recent quarter. It seems that until content become more widely accessible and readily available, cable and satellite services may retain their subscribers for now.

The problem with Netflix is that the company’s streaming Internet library of movies is limited, and Hulu Plus doesn’t air shows online the same day that shows become available on TV. This delay may still draw audiences to traditional TV and rely on the iPad as a secondary screen for video consumption, rather than a primary screen.

Additionally, there are also complimentary services and accessories that bring the iPad and cable/satellite services together. Placeshifting technologies, such as Sling Media’s Slingbox and Slingplayer app and Monsoon’s Vulkano, help pay TV subscribers stream what’s playing on their television set to their smartphones, tablets, or laptops. That way, they don’t need to be confined to a geographic location–their home–to watch the content they want to. These services help to add value to cable and satellite offerings and would not replace those offerings, unlike Netflix and Hulu Plus.


Via: Electronista