Watching what you used to consider television is about to get a whole lot more interesting. By now, most us have abandoned true broadcast television and left our “rabbit ears” behind for cable service of one kind or another. Whether from Comcast (CMCSA), Cox Cable, Charter Communications, Verizon (VZ), AT&T (T) or some other service, these companies have been seeking the holy grail of the triple play — telephony, Internet and TV. If you’ve done the math, like I have, it seems most of those companies are practically “giving” you the telephony service for free. But if you try to break that bundle, it gets a lot more expensive. Candidly, I’m waiting for a different triple play — mobile voice and data, Internet and TV…
Recent announcements, however, suggest the triple play, as we know it now, could be over long before we see mobile voice and data, Internet and TV come about. During the last few weeks, announcements from Amazon (AMZN), Yahoo! (YHOO) and Google (GOOGL) all suggest the TV market as we know it is on the cusp of changing. Even without these announcements, you’ve probably noticed that the way in which we consume what we once called TV programming has already started to change. It can be watched online via sites like Hulu or on the major networks’ websites, streamed through Apple TV or watched later on Netflix (NFLX) or Amazon Instant Video. More and more, the cable companies are making more and more programs available as part of their on-demand service offering.
At the same time, there are more sources of original programming than ever before. Netflix has its “House of Cards.” AMC Networks (AMCX) has been knocking it out of the park with hits like “Breaking Bad” and others, while FX Networks, Amazon and now Yahoo! are getting involved. That’s the content side of the equation, and that’s not even counting some of the channels that Google’s YouTube has created.
Not only are there more and more choices coming to you, but now, thanks to Amazon and its new Fire TV set-top box, as well as Apple’s Apple TV and Microsoft’s Xbox, we soon will have a new Android TV set-top box in addition to Google’s Chromecast dongle. Lest I forget, apps like Watch ABC, Netflix, Hulu and dozens of others bring programming right to you, no matter where you are, so long as you have a data connection and a smartphone or tablet with you.
Chris Versace is the editor of PowerTrend Brief — a FREE, weekly electronic newsletter. He also writes PowerTrend Profits, a paid monthly newsletter that helps individual investors profit through buying shares of companies poised to win big in the 8 PowerTrends, as well as writes the PowerTrader trading service that seeks to deliver short-term gains using stocks, ETFs and options. Chris has been ranked an All Star Analyst by Zacks Investment Research.