Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Since the web came into being the majority of content has been free. Thanks to Netflix that's no longer true. The online video service has grown to 22.2% of all US broadband traffic, overtaking peer to peer file sharing for the first time. At peak times, Netflix hits 30% of all traffic. This news comes the same day that Forrester Research released a white paper suggesting that serious cord cutting pressure will arrive by year-end 2012. Cord cutting is the industry term for cancelling cable/satellite TV services. Cord shaving is the step before, describing the paring down of packages to remove pay-for movie channels as viewers become more comfortable with movie content from Netflix, Amazon, Hulu Plus and Redbox, to name major players. While not all of these services are offered in Canada presently, Netflix alone has made great strides here, and deservedly so. Driving this shift is the ubiquity of game consoles, connected to the 'net for the purpose of playing against others all over the world. Once that connection is made, adding a Netflix account takes a few minutes and costs pennies a day. I use a Wii to connect my 42" flat screen to the web and to Netflix. I don't game online. My interest was in bringing the web to my TV and having seen it, I'm not impressed yet with that option. Netflix is a whole different matter. For those who haven't seen it, the interface is far more user friendly than my Rogers VOD for example, because it is web-like in its interactivity. I can page through movie choices by category, hover to read descriptions, cast and ratings and bring up a film with DVR-like control (FF, RV, Pause etc) and trash it for another one if it doesn't grab me quickly. I'm not paying by the movie or the minute. I'm paying by the month. It's where we're going and I'm happy to be on the bus.