After visiting the expansive show floor for hours and sitting through many insightful conference sessions, my main take away from this year’s CES is Internet video is over hyped. I’m not convinced it’s going to kill subscription video any time soon. I’m not suggesting it should be ignored. Quite the contrary – it should be embraced. But definitely not feared. Consider this – according to Nielsen, traditional television viewing is still growing. So much so, that even if you take the total amount of online video viewing (in total hours), it doesn’t even add up to the incremental growth in traditional television viewing (in total hours). Early indications are that online video is a tide that is ‘raising all ships.’ That’s not to say there aren’t consumers who will opt for Internet video only. There certainly will be – but they won’t be replacing everyone else for decades. There’s more than enough ‘pie’ to go around for everyone for the foreseeable future. Service providers who offer subscription video should find ways to complement their traditional video service with web based content, not fear it.
There is an ‘inflection’ point coming. The point at which the Internet is simply a distribution method for television displayed video is the point at which the lines are ‘blurred’ even further. In this coming reality, there won’t be a distinction between ‘Internet’ and ‘TV’ video. There will just be video, and it will be consumed on multiple devices, the TV included. We’re seeing glimpses of that now. But contrary to many reports, the premature death of subscription video is being greatly exaggerated. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. Agree or Disagree? Comment below.