Let’s Hope Streaming Doesn’t Turn Into Cable

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Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg via Getty

Friends, nerds, countrymen. We have wished for a tech invention, we realized that it was in the works, and we have been totally let down by the execution. This, unfortunately, is another retelling of that very tragic tale.

New Streaming Service

“I’m watching Sony Vue right now,” the Edgy Labs CTO texted. “Wish Google had it.”

And boom, there it was, YouTube TV.

It turns out that Google will soon have a streaming service. Google’s YouTube is entering the online streaming competition along with DirecTV Now and Sony’s PlayStation Vue.

PlayStation Vue is one of the few TV services that also offers a cloud DVR. It has some limited mobile capabilities and another bonus is that it’s not actually necessary to own a PlayStation to use the service.

Google’s new streaming service is a welcome addition to the online TV streaming competition, and a cursory look at their features seems to reveal some promising aspects for customers. They also have the benefit of being known for their recommendations and search algorithms, which are some of the best in the data game.

They plan on beginning service in the next few months and will offer 40 channels at a $35 monthly fee, which is similar to competitors.

This sounds pretty standard at first, however, there are some major drawbacks. When the service launches, it will only be available in select cities and geographical locations where Google has partner agreements in place.

“YouTube says it will work on expanding to other markets, although that will require cutting deals with the owners of network affiliate stations in those cities.”

#YouTubeTV is shaping up to be more like cable TV.Click To Tweet

And, if you want to watch on a television, you will need to buy Google Chromecast.

Sounds Eerily Familiar to Cable

Needs a special device in order for customers to access content on their televisions?

Only available in certain locations?

This sounds a lot like a traditional cable service.

Instead of streaming liberating us from the fees, subscription packages, and commercials of cable, it seems like the new “cable alternatives” are milking the model and updating it with a new, more tech-friendly spin.

Unfortunately, it’s looking like Google may help replicate the cable model on the Internet. Instead of the Internet replacing cable, cable is taking over the Internet.

Some traditional providers like Sky have gotten wise and started up with their own streaming services. However, compared to the unique content that Netflix offers for the price, other proprietary streaming services meant as compliments to cable seem like too little too late.

Pooling Resources

AT&T is going through the process of trying to close an $85 billion deal to merge with Time Warner. This comes with some legal concerns a and the need for approval from the Justice Department.

Traditional cable providers have taken a big hit publicly as a result of the Net Neutrality movement, driving down popular demand for their uncompetitive services and pricing even further.

Edgy Labs previously reported on the open letter to congress appealing on behalf of net neutrality and signed by several Blue Chip Bigs, including Google.

The launch of YouTube TV will prove whether they tend to keep their word.

History Repeats Itself

Online television services do have their perks. Every current option offers subscribers the ability to cancel whenever, while also offering mobile streaming and offline storage capabilities.

It is not exactly true that we are still bound to selections between a few competing television packages that are limited to our local area. More people are ditching cable for streaming TV services.

As the package model becomes more popular, it will be interesting to see if streaming becomes the cable of the new generation.

There’s nothing wrong with having more options, and more providers, but as they all continue to adapt to the same service methods, it is possible that are on a slippery slope towards approaching the traditional cable TV model.

What would be really revolutionary would be if customers were allowed to pick and choose which channels they wanted, instead of having to buy into the whole package. This would give tv streaming serves a true advantage over current standard cable options.

Edgy Labs Readers: What do you think? Is there even really a difference between TV streaming service and cable? 

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