Time Warner Cable envisions Pandora-like personalization for pay-TV

“Time Warner Cable’s management says that the future of pay-TV could look a lot like Pandora, with personalization reaching TV programming as well. Pandora recognizes what a particular user prefers to hear and plays songs on its radio service accordingly. Additionally, it also allows users the create personalized radio stations,” Trefis Team writes for Forbes. “We don’t believe that such a development is likely for at least several years. Over the past few years, there have been subtle steps in this direction such as the introduction of DVR services, a greater number of programming tiers and the addition of on-demand content by operators such as Time Warner Cable and Comcast.”

“Programming packages are currently bundled and cable providers pay around $30 billion each year to content companies. [2] One of the ways to personalize services is to switch to à la carte programming, which would allow customers to choose the channels to which they subscribe,” Trefis explains. “However content providers have resisted this move as it would almost certainly lead to lower revenues. Currently, content providers can sell several channels in a package, which ensures payment for each of those channels whether or not the end consumer really wants to subscribe to them. This ultimately boosts content fees, and if consumers can choose to cancel some of the lesser-wanted channels it could cut into revenues. If the shift to à la carte happens, content providers will likely have to raise prices on the high-demand channels significantly.”

Trefis writes, “The other way to personalize is rearranging the content within the packages by utilizing smart-TVs to give a Pandora-like experience. For example, a viewer could turn on the the TV and see his or her favorite channels and shows first, without having to navigate much. The smart-TV could also allow a viewer to catch up on a regularly watched show that he or she may have forgotten to record by automatically presenting an on-demand menu. We believe that advanced services such as this are much more likely in the near-term than a shift to à la carte.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]


  1. Nice damning of Apple with faint praise…… Yeah, something kinda a little like, but not really like what Apple wants, might kinda sorta happen in a few years, or decades, but don’t hold your breath.

    In the meantime, enjoy the crap we are pushing to maintain the status quo of our current business model! Please pay up and don’t give an attention to the Apple Inc behind the curtain……

        1. They’ll get what’s coming to them. All it will take is one awesome product, and ONE of the media corps signing on and reaping HUGE profits from it… as everyone begins to clamor for more, the others will have to switch or be left behind. Much like how certain record labels backed away from iTunes… but caved in, eventually. And these labels were just clamoring about pirating, they weren’t actually being driven out of business. They were turning a profit… it was the artists that were suffering…

          So… basically apple came in, performed a coup, and walked away… and these record labels couldn’t do anything about it…

          This should happen to TV, too…

  2. Somebody correct me if this sounds stupid.
    Why can’t Time Warner et al just offer pricing tiers based on number of channels offered? $X a month brings you 20 channels? $XX brings you 30 channels and so on.

  3. Warning. Severe insulting of our Corporate Oligarchy Overlords ahead:

    However content providers have resisted this move as it would almost certainly lead to lower revenues.

    WTF is he talking about? Has he ever been to a restaurant that offers à la carte?

    1) The customers get what they’ve been demanding for DECADES.

    2) The lazy ass TV service providers will actually make MORE revenue when (if) they offer à la carte channel and program choices.

    Big fat DUH! Factor. Lazy AND stupid.

    Imagine one of these dumbass companies breaking away from the pack and pulling an Apple move, offering customers exactly what they want in a quality they would never have expected. That could happen TODAY. We don’t have to wait. But noooo, they’re too damned lazy and stupid to bother making more money providing a better service. Ring the DUH-Bell: *DUH*DUH*DUH*

    Instead these idiot companies are busy perpetrating a POLICE STATE of customer surveillance, generating customer lashback. They’re busy perpetrating DRM (Digital Rights Manglement), generating customer lashback. They’re busy tossing artificial media bandwidth caps on customers at inflated costs, generating customer lashback.

    Then these morons wonder why their customers pirate media as retribution for being abused. This isn’t capitalism. It’s drinking mercury poisoned water. It’s eating lead paint chips. These execuTards are out of their simple little minds.

    Now what was I going to watch on TV tonight…? hmm.

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