An interesting article published on wired.com on June 18, 2014 raises questions about whether online pay per view as well as all the diverse and largely incompatible set-top devices and so many branded streaming media services will really be part of the future of receiving entertainment content.
How we view television had completely changed in recent years. While over-the-air broadcast television still exists, the launch of Apple TV in 2006 started the change that has resulted in Roku, Netflix and other names people didn’t know a decade ago — as well as live streaming, online pay per view and lots of other methods of media distribution.
But the article suggests that what consumers really want is a single point of entry for all kinds of “television” content. This includes traditional TV stations, original series from Crackle and HBO and highly specialized content for niche audiences.
The writer imagines a single computer app that could provide access to all kinds of streaming media content and manage a variety of subscriptions and online pay per view events. When television was a box in the corner, everything was in one place. Today, a TV must be hooked to a cable box, a streaming device and a phone or tablet to get all the available choices — and consumers must deal with separate subscriptions for each of the services they choose to use. This is the way the large companies are using video monetization systems to build their revenue fast.
That isn’t very user friendly, is it?
Sure, online pay per view is part of the future of home entertainment — and part of the future of business and education too. But the way it’s handled needs to be simpler and more convenient for consumers. That’s important because there will always be consumers who simply won’t bother with complicated service or product choices and choose to be non-adopters.
Today, people understand traditional television pay per view content — and many consumers avoid it. They also somewhat understand streaming media. But the concept of online pay per view streaming on demand live or as soon as payment is made is something that people will have to understand better and to which they will need to have easier access if it’s to be viable for entertainment applications into the future.