People are genuinely unsatisfied with the current state of cable service. Although cable providers have tried to improve by offering online viewing, better cable box systems, and mobile apps, still consumers are unhappy with service. They want HD viewing anywhere with an intuitive UI designed to find the shows you want and then get out of your way. Instead, cable companies have been inflexible and not given customers all they wanted. Services like Hulu and Netflix have helped satisfy consumers’ wants, and now people are attempting to “cut the cord”. This is a small movement and not many people have made the jump yet, but more will and cable companies will be in serious trouble.
What needs to be done? I will discuss what cable companies need to do to retain earn back customer satisfaction and what services like Hulu need to do to allow more people to cut the cord.
To succeed cable companies must first create set-top boxes that people want to use. These need to work with my iOS, Android, or whatever else I my have so I can use my device as a remote or TV guide. The apps need to be intuitive and most importantly, work. Also, they need to have easy to use and navigate interfaces that even my grandmother could use. Cable companies need to make it easy to trade in your old and decrepit cable box for a new one for, say, a one-time five dollar fee. Also, I have managed to memorize all of my favorite channels, but only the SD ones. A good cable box would automatically switch me to the HD channel without me noticing. Optimally there would be NO SD channel, but let’s take it one step at a time for now.
This sounds great, I know, but what about the cable companies? They have to make money too right? They do, but this about more than a set-top box, this is about them staying afloat. They need to keep customer loyalty, keep users from switching to Hulu and Netflix, and keep people paying them every month. Otherwise, I believe there is a point of no return where the IPTV will gain higher traction than cable companies with all the benefits of more modern technology than the crap they are selling us now.
Services like Hulu and Netflix need to first, try to have the best line up of shows possible. Second, be on as many devices as possible (while doing it well). [excuse my punctuation, I am trying to be more mainstream.] And lastly, customers need to know not only that these services exist, but that these could be viable replacements for cable and could save them tons of cash each month.
All in all, the pending revolution in cable and Internet streaming services will be a win for consumers, giving them more control and better prices. The clock is ticking for the cable companies, I don’t want anyone to lose their job, but it will happen if they do not move fast.