TV will really be everywhere in 2015

(ED NOTE: We really do have a potential TV Studio on our desktops, when we use Google Hangouts; as Einstein said, we are only limited by our imagination, in that regard too.  But, matter of fact, BETTER than a TV  studio, because TV is NOT interactive, as Google hangouts can be)

Already, nearly 126 million Americans watch video on a smartphone at least once a month, up about 25% over last year, Nielsen says. Millions more are supplementing — or replacing — traditional TV viewing with content streamed to tablets, computers and Net TV devices.

Popular online video services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Instant Video and Hulu have become entrenched in U.S. homes. If traditional TV programmers and media companies — from broadcast networks to premium channels like HBO — have their way, you’ll be watching even more of their streamed content at home and on the go in 2015.

So-called “TV Everywhere” apps that let you watch on-demand and live TV when you plug in your pay-TV credentials “are going to be ridiculously common in terms of smartphones and tablets,” said Joel Espelien, the Diffusion Group.

Among the 2015 developments we already know about:

Dish Network. The satellite service plans to launch a subscription streaming service that company co-founder Charlie Ergen has described as targeting 18 to 35 year olds and skewing towards sports enthusiasts. Dish has secured Net TV rights from Disney, which could mean ESPN and its various channels.

Sony PlayStation Vue. The electronics and video-game giant plans to make its PlayStation-based cloud TV service available in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago and Los Angeles within the first three months of the year. Sony has deals with CBS, Discovery Communications, Fox, NBCUniversal, Scripps Networks Interactive and Viacom (Comedy Central) for the app-based service, which Sony Computer Entertainment President and Group CEO Andrew House has said will be competitively priced.

HBO. The premium pay-TV network has a stand-alone HBO subscription streaming service in the works that would not require a pay TV package. “There are 80 million homes that do not have HBO and we will use all means at our disposal to go after them,” HBO CEO Richard Plepler has said.

Showtime. CBS announced plans to offer its on stand-alone service for Showtime. Already available are the subscription-based CBS All Access service ($5.99 monthly) with recent and classic TV episodes, and the 24/7 ad-supported CBSN news channel with live anchors and on-demand video stories.

The rise of homes that have only broadband Internet service and pass on pay TV is one trend driving Net-based TV offerings. About 14% of adult broadband users do not use a legacy pay-TV service, up from 9% in 2011, the Diffusion Group has found.

But the flip side of TV Everywhere is that it could help networks and pay-TV providers stem a pay-TV exodus. ABC, Fox and NBC all offer some live streaming of content and on-demand episodes online and via apps.

“You can watch your shows on your television, on your mobile device, on a tablet, on a computer and on connected devices,” said Alison Moore, NBCUniversal’s general manager and executive vice president of TV Everywhere. “It’s the ultimate in consumer choice.”

Consumers will likely embrace the ability to get content on more devices. Homes that already have pay TV continue to add Netflix and other services. “The demand for alternative content continues to grow significantly and will continue to do so in 2015,” said Matthew Lieberman of consulting firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers

The likely surprise of 2015? That cord cutters will remain a minority, Espelien says. All these new offerings are not meant to substitute for pay TV.

“It’s all complementary,” he said. “It’s going to be a huge year in terms of how much stuff will be out there. But people will be shocked that it s not going to drive cord cutting.”

“Cutting the Cord” is a regular column covering Net TV and ways to get it. If you have suggestions or questions, contact Mike Snider via e-mail. And follow him on Twitter:@MikeSnider.


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