Apple, Amazon join web TV war

Robert Clark
02 Sep 2010
00:00
 
Yesterday’s announcements are another sign that internet-connected TVs and super-fast broadband are upending the traditional world of TV.
 
Apple’s rival Google plans a worldwide pay-per-view service, due to start by the end of the year.
 
It is pitching the power of its search technology and YouTube to force broadcasters to become either partners or competitors. As a source told the FT: ““Google and YouTube are a global phenomenon with a hell of a lot of eyeballs – more than any cable or satellite service.”
 
While Apple and Google are chasing first-run content, Amazon and Netflix aim to focus on older or “long-tail” content to avoid directly competing with the major networks.
 
But they all are competing with Hulu, the established site for new TV shows owned by Fox, NBC and ABC, which is already offering free and subscription content online.
 
Media companies face a classic disruption dilemma. They don’t want to fragment their audience – yet the clear lesson of the past decade is that it’s much better to cannibalize yourself than have a competitor do it to you.
 
For telcos the competition in TV will drive more gigabytes of content down their pipes.
 
But the emergence of Apple and Google as global TV content channels also threatens to disrupt telco IPTV, which has been an effective strategy for cutting churn and line loss for fixed-line carriers.
 
Apple’s Nasdaq stock rose 2.97% Wednesday, and another 0.11% in after-hours trading, closing at 250.60.

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