PARQOR is the handbook every media and technology executive needs to navigate the seismic shifts underway in the media business. Through in-depth analysis from a network of senior media and tech leaders, Andrew Rosen cuts through what's happening, highlights what it means and suggests where you should go next.
In Q1 2023, PARQOR will be focusing on four trends. This essay focuses on "The definition of scarcity is continuously evolving away from linear. What happens next?"
[Author's note: I will be publishing PARQOR's key trends for Q2 2023 on Wednesday. It will be a quick recap of Q1 2023 trends and what's looming for Q2 2023. The essay will be published Wednesday or Thursday.]
There is a follow-up question to last Thursday’s essay that’s lurking in the background: what is the purpose of a bundle in 2023? What problem does it solve for a customer?
The value proposition of a cable bundle is a portfolio of cable channels aggregated into one, and their individual distribution fees discounted and aggregated into a single monthly fee. Thursday’s essay focused on how these bundles also subsidize the survival of niche networks like regional sports networks (RSN). Households subscribing to a cable network do not have a choice of which channels to subscribe to, and so their single fee means they will subsidize channels that they may not ever visit or watch. But prior to streaming’s emergence in 2007, that mattered little because there were no available content distribution alternatives to cable networks.
The subsidy is missing in the “à la carte” value proposition of streaming, where users can sign up for individual streaming services and then churn in and out of a service at their whim. But, we still hear a lot of discussion in the market about streaming services replicating the value of the cable bundle. For example, HBO and HBO Max chairman and CEO Casey Bloys spoke at the Series Mania festival in Lille, France last week. He said Warner Bros. Discovery’s plan to relaunch the HBO Max app under a new name (“Max”) and with the discovery+ library as a plan that “kind of” replicates the cable bundle. He added, “How can you put the bundle together that will attract the most subscribers and keep the largest number of subscribers?”
The common belief is that NBCUniversal is subsidizing the WWE, but what if the WWE may be subsidizing Peacock and redefining its bundle of content?
Total words: 900
Total time reading: 4 minutes
This is a funny sales pitch for Bloys to be making given that Warner Bros. Discoveryrecently threw out plansto close discovery+ when it launches “Max”. It plans to keep a version of just running in an effort not to lose many of the platform’s current 20 million subscribers who might not be ...