Editorial: The Real Danger to Cord Cutting Is Device Exclusivity…




There are many dangers facing cord cutting: data caps to limit how much you can watch; ISPs raising rates; and cable companies limiting access to content. While these are all real threats to cord cutting, the largest threat is device exclusivity.

Increasingly, more services are becoming device specific. Sony’s Vue TV service, HBO Now, Showtime’s new services, and thousands of apps are limiting their availability to a small group of devices and, sometimes, just one. With these and new services like Apple’s rumored new TV service, which is said to only work on Apple TV, are endangering cord cutting.

It is one thing to have a few different services that have different categories. If Netflix has what you want, you can subscribe to their service; if Amazon has what you want, you can subscribe to theirs. They are often all on the same device and easy to switch between. The really issue is when the cost of switching is a $100 new streaming media box. At this rate, in a year or two you may need three or four devices to access all the services you want. And, a $400 start-up cost is too high for most people.

Cord Cutters need to push back on these device exclusivity deals before viewers need different devices to watch HBO, Showtime, and the new Apple TV. So, make sure you let device-specific services know they need to make their apps universal—at least across the major streaming devices—before device exclusivity becomes the downfall of cord cutting.

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