Could Amazon replace cable TV?
Edward Boyhan, one of my most insightful commenters, really got me thinking.
Edward said (in part):
“For me the most interesting item was in the 3Q guidance where they are forecasting substantial operating losses. Given Amazon’ ability to tune numbers such as these, I wondered why they are electing to take such a large 3Q loss? They explicitly ruled out any acquisitions, restructurings, or legal settlements in this forecast.
I wonder whether this might be a harbinger of new products, and especially aggressive pricing of same. The rumor mill has pretty much laid out what to expect on the KF front. Unknown is what they are going to do on the RSK front. I think they will be announcing some kind of set-top box — which I’m hoping will be something like Google Chromcast on steroids.”
I think Edward may have sussed out something very important.
Amazon introduces a TV gadget. I think the term “set-top box” may have been obsoleted by Google’s Chromecast. Let’s say it plugs into your HDMI port (as Chromecast does), and it’s self or vampire powered (it doesn’t need to be plugged into to the wall, it sucks juice from the TV). Even if it has to be plugged in, that’s okay.
Further, Amazon has paid the major networks to run their broadcasting…so you get the current seasons. That would cost Amazon a lot of money.
Maybe you only can get the current programming if you are a Prime member. You could watch a lot of other things without that, but they could make Prime very attractive. So attractive that people become cable cutters.
Once you are a Prime member, you spend a lot more at Amazon, from what we’ve heard…and on profitable things, like “diapers and windshield wipers”, as I like to say.
Wait, I’m not done speculating. ;)
When it turns on, you see an ad for Amazon…like the lock screen we get on the Kindle Fire, or on our non-Fire Kindles. You can click something (you can use a device, like your Fire or a SmartPhone as a remote) to buy what’s in the ad.
Also, there is an added Amazon shopping channel. You can go there and order things (both digital and physical) directly from Amazon.
From your TV…on your couch.
It can bring you X-Ray for Video…and you can buy things you see on TV (you want that t-shirt on The Big Bang Theory? Done).
There might be a Prime and a Super Prime membership, but that might not be necessary if people’s buying increases enough.
I think that could be the push that a lot of people need to finally cut the cable and dump the dish.
Would it be expensive for Amazon? As all get out. ;) Might it be worth it? In the long run (and that’s the only way Amazon thinks), yes, it could be. Many people don’t like their cable providers much…if this could be done well, I think people would drop them in a hurry.
What do you think? I’m just speculating in pixels…but this strikes me as a possibility that would surprise a lot of folks, and fit into a Amazon’s strategic plans. Feel free to let me and my readers know what you think by commenting on this post.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.