The growing threat of Web video distribution is one the cable industry needs to pay closer attention to, according to the CEO of Verizon. Ivan Seidenberg, at a Goldman media conference in NY, told attendees he doesn’t expect future generations of customers to have any interest in buying cable bundles.
"Young people are pretty smart. They're not going to pay for something they don't need to," he said. "Over the top is going to be a pretty big issue for cable."
The comment, captured by All Things Digital, points out a growing concern about “cord cutting” – people swapping their cable subscriptions for Internet video. While it’s not as simplistic or widespread as proponents make it out to be now, it is growing and could pose a long-term threat.
Seidenberg noted that while Verizon itself offers those bundles, he expects them to go away eventually.
“I think cable has some life left in its model…but that it is going to get disintermediated over the next several years.”
While Web-exclusive series have limited audience, some – like Felicia Day’s “The Guild” and Kevin Pollak’s “Kevin Pollak’s Chat Show” – have found some traction. The bigger threat, though, comes from services like Hulu and Netflix.