We've heard it for years. We've heard that it's only a matter of time until we can finally say goodbye to the content providers that we love to hate. Over the air TV just isn't enough, so we bow to the cable and satellite providers that supply us with hundreds of channels. Most of us are fed up that we have to purchase a lot of content that we don't want. Imagine going to the grocery store and having to purchase extra items you don't use in order to get the products you want? We do it with our satellite and cable companies, but is all of that destined to change?

Is Apple the Answer?
The technology rumor mill has been abuzz about Apple possibly entering the TV market. The reported iTV is rumored to be a TV with an iTunes-style interface that would allow consumers to pick the content they want. Some media analysts point to what Apple did to the mobile phone industry as the reason it isn't likely to happen to the TV industry anytime soon. According to CNN, Apple wants to supply a set top box and take 30% of the revenue from the sale of apps, movies and other content. This would leave the cable companies to supply the networks and service the boxes. In an industry that has rejected past attempts at change, the late Steve Jobs' proclamation that he had solved the TV content problem may have been premature.

The Trend
Even if Apple isn't the answer, statistics show that people are growing tired of the traditional model. Business Insider reported that only 16.9% of the newly formed households signed up for traditional cable and satellite TV in 2010, and that number continues to fall. In 2004, the number of people with only wireless cell phone service was too low to measure. By 2011, almost 30% of households had cut the cord on traditional phones. Things can change fast, and that might be what is about to happen.

Are we tired of traditional content, or is it the delivery method that we want to change? The Kaiser Family Foundation found that children aged eight to 18 spend four-and-a-half hours per day watching TV, while kids aged six to eight watch 28 hours per week. The average adult spends 34 hours per week in front of TV, according to the New York Times. Statistics show that Americans aren't tired of the content as much as the way they are weary of the way they receive it.

Is the Breakout Finally Here?
Most believe that the future of media content delivery will move from traditional TV sets to tablets, laptops and other mobile devices as more people demand content regardless of where they are. The Internet is now fast enough, WiFi now widespread enough and the advertising models are evolved enough to make watching content away from the TV viable. Sites like Youtube and Hulu have made large steps forward in the way they display ads so traditional media companies can still profit from broadcasting content online. Although still in its infancy, some companies are producing feature-length content solely for online viewing.

What About the Providers?
Consumers are still demanding more choices in their bundles. They don't want to pay for hundreds of channels they will never watch. Instead, they want to create their own bundles. If purchasing programming a la carte was as cost effective as purchasing music in the same way, many believe that this model would take off.

The Bottom Line
It isn't that easy. The relationship between studios, the cable and satellite companies, and consumers is complex. Making an "everybody wins" model has proven impossible so far, and that's something that no amount of technological innovation can combat. Until a new business model is invented, companies like Apple will likely have a hard time evolving the cable and satellite TV model.

Related Articles
  1. Investing Basics

    Netflix May Produce Bollywood-Style Original Shows, Says CEO

    First Blockbuster, now cable companies? Find our how Netflix's popular streaming service is forcing the television industry to adapt or die trying.
  2. Investing News

    Should You Invest in Disney Stock Before Star Wars?

    The force is strong with Disney stock, as it continues to make gains going into the launch of EP7. But is this pricey stock a good buy at these levels?
  3. Personal Finance

    How Tech Can Help with 3 Behavioral Finance Biases

    Even if you’re a finance or statistics expert, you’re not immune to common decision-making mistakes that can negatively impact your finances.
  4. Retirement

    Is Netflix Stock Suitable for Your IRA or Roth IRA?

    Learn about the risks of Netflix's business plan and long-term corporate strategy, and see if the stock's risk/reward profile warrants inclusion in an IRA.
  5. Stock Analysis

    4 Things to Watch in the Cable Industry's Consolidation

    Learn about the high-profile purchases being made of cable companies and how these signal the future consolidation of the cable industry.
  6. Entrepreneurship

    How an Internet Sales Tax Will Affect Your Small Business

    Learn about how the Marketplace Fairness Act may impact small business owners should it pass in the House and what the act requires from business owners.
  7. Savings

    Craft Beer Clubs – Bargain or Not?

    If you're an aficionado of artisanal brews (or would like to be), a beer club can be a palate-pleasing, albeit pricey, way to expand your hops horizon.
  8. Wealth Management

    The Net Worth of the Shark Tank Cast

    Discover how the richest "Sharks" on the hit TV show amassed their vast fortunes, and learn how much they have to offer eager entrepreneurs.
  9. Entrepreneurship

    3 Ways You Can Support Small Business Growth

    Discover a number of different options available to support small business growth, including crowdfunding campaigns and shopping locally.
  10. Stock Analysis

    When Will Dick's Sporting Goods Bounce Back? (DKS)

    Is DKS a bargain here?
  1. Where can you buy NetSpend reload packs?

    You can only purchase NetSpend reload packs at Giant Eagle, Albertsons, Roundy's and Pathmark supermarkets. NetSpend cards ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Is a financial advisor allowed to pay a referral fee?

    A financial advisor is allowed to pay a referral fee to a third party for soliciting clients. However, the Securities and ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What does marginal utility tell us about consumer choice?

    In microeconomics, utility represents a way to relate the amount of goods consumed to the amount of happiness or satisfaction ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What are some common ways product differentiation is achieved?

    There are many ways to achieve product differentiation, some more common than others. Horizontal Differentiation Horizontal ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What role does the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) play in the finished product?

    Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) do not typically play much of direct role in determining the finished product. However, ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How does a long tail become profitable?

    A long tail becomes profitable because the costs to produce, market and distribute a product or service in a niche are low, ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Take A Bath

    A slang term referring to the situation of an investor who has experienced a large loss from an investment or speculative ...
  2. Black Friday

    1. A day of stock market catastrophe. Originally, September 24, 1869, was deemed Black Friday. The crash was sparked by gold ...
  3. Turkey

    Slang for an investment that yields disappointing results or turns out worse than expected. Failed business deals, securities ...
  4. Barefoot Pilgrim

    A slang term for an unsophisticated investor who loses all of his or her wealth by trading equities in the stock market. ...
  5. Quick Ratio

    The quick ratio is an indicator of a company’s short-term liquidity. The quick ratio measures a company’s ability to meet ...
  6. Black Tuesday

    October 29, 1929, when the DJIA fell 12% - one of the largest one-day drops in stock market history. More than 16 million ...
Trading Center