Matthew Ball @ballmatthew Venture investor, strategist, essayist, that guy on Twitter. Prev. Head of Strategy @AmazonStudios, ex-Otter Media, @MediaREDEF. 🇨🇦 Jul. 02, 2019 1 min read

1/ I’ve been publishing this quarterly chart of declining Pay-TV usage (inc. OTA/DVR/TVE/VOD) for more than five years. What's shocking is mostly how unshocking it became over time.

And how the questions I received (esp. from Hollywood) were always the same:

2/ The Qs:
● Is that real (yes; Nielsen)
● Where is it going (mostly Netflix + YouTube)
● Decline has to slow soon (it never did)
● Where is it in year 20XY (just keep a linear trendline)
● What's the window? What about L30? (It's ALL viewing, whatever window, whenever)

3/ What's important is decline was real, perpetual, and despite beliefs it would have to slow eventually, it never did. It actually accelerated.

Why? Because there was no reason to: SVOD never got "worse", it got better and had more players. And Pay-TV never really got "better".

4/ It never solved for experience, for bundling, for ad loads (let alone ad-free), for in-season stacking, etc.

And this chart shows the ultimate lesson about the cost of timing/waiting to cannibalize your business.

5/ Every issue Big Media faces today is due to believing there was one more deal cycle (Pay-1, Pay-TV, Sports) left than ended up being the case. Because it declined faster than expected (but not unpredictably so).

This devastated cash, content, scale & Pay-TV subsidy advantages

6/ Which is to say, the chart no longer matters. We know what Q2 2019 looks like, 2020, etc.

And now Big Media are themselves pushing consumption from here to their own OTT. It will get worse for these players, but partly good reasons.

But they won't outstrip that cycle mistake

7/ Consequences hit very differently.

Viacom once thrived as it excelled w/ the youngest viewers. Irrespective of any mistakes, their audience fled most and its content was most digitally replaced (YT, Snap)

CBS focused on oldest, highest consuming and most resilient audience

8/ But ultimately, you can't outrun the change

Lots more here! 

BONUS: Old, but fun chart

You can follow @ballmatthew.


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