Why Mobile TV Will Eventually Be Free
from the look-at-the-trends dept
It's good that some people are starting to realize this, but it's not a question of whether or not free is the right model, but a recognition that it's likely to be the only model. It seems like everyone investing big money in the mobile broadcast TV market are ignoring the growing competition from "place shifting" efforts from companies like Sling and Orb. In both cases, these companies will let users access their home TV (including their DVR) from mobile devices -- and both only charge for the hardware, rather than an ongoing service fee. So, if your choices are spending $200 on a box that lets you access your home TV with its 200 channels and full access to your TiVo from anywhere in the world using any computer or mobile device... against paying $10/month for a limited selection of choppy live programming just on your phone, it seems like the place shifting companies have an advantage. Add to that the fact that it's only a matter of time until cable and satellite providers start including Sling/Orb functionality directly into their existing set top boxes... and the pure play mobile broadcast TV efforts seem a lot harder to justify. Of course, then we'll have to deal with the mobile operators complaining that their unlimited plans are being overused, while demanding that they be able to block TV viewing on phones, as it impacts the integrity of the network.