How TV Should Be

Lets say we wanted to reinvent TV (like everyone expects Apple to), how would we go about it?

Right now I susbscribe to some number of cable packages (lets count the Beeb’s licence fee as one of those…), I may also download from the various iplayeralikes, and buy content (mainly from itunes in my case).

What if apple (or a rival) could convince the TV companies to allow people to have pay as you go subscriptions – something along the lines of this:

At any time you may purchase 1 month of our channel’s programming – which you can watch when you want during the month – but when the months up, its gone.  That isn’t too different from the iplayer and standard cable models.

Also, you can buy any of our top programmes – either as a rental (a week to watch, but it vanished 48 hours after you’ve started watching… in the same vein as sky boxoffice) or for good (like with itunes)

And since we let you do that, why not let you buy or rent films…

We would probably start getting new channels – after all, netflix fits into the new monthly model.

We could also add ‘oyster card – like’ deals (if you rent enough of our content, everything else you buy from us over a given period will be free)

All we need is for the tv set to have a single payment mechanism which everyone agrees to use.  Which is where the monetization strategy comes in.  Do this well, and in time, you’ll be able to give widescreen tellys away for free.

The TV could recommend programs that you can watch for free – or programs you would like which will cost you money (there are ad dollars to be made with the latter).   Add the social media features I’ve suggested before, and you have a new TV model, which democratises the platform in a range of interesting ways.

But of course, this isn’t the future.  Because in the future, the new program will be the app.  We know this, but it’ll be a long time before channels figure it out.  If the right TV manufacture gets this right now, they can get everyone onboard… and then become the app store!

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