Internet over TV has been a long standing mainstream goal. We’ve seen Smart TVs from the best of brands working toward this, devices like the Chromecast doing great work, and services like Netflix and Hulu, to deliver picture perfect content to people with high-speed internet connections. But to certain eyes, nothing beats the thrill of live television, the advertisements, the wait for the next episode release, the no-wait period and instant stream on releasing. Many people don’t mind paying for great content, as demonstrated by Music services like Spotify and Pandora.
Sony and Viacom have recently come to talks to bring a similar revolution to television. Sony has allegedly joined up with Viacom to bring live-internet streaming on Viacom channels to Sony devices by year-end. Viacom an American media company focusing largely on television. They are most well known for channels like Comedy Central, MTV, BET, CMT, VH1, Nickelodeon, and Spike. Striking this deal would give Sony license to stream live television on these channels to devices.
Sony plans to integrate this live-streaming service to the PlayStation 4, which is to be unveiled quite soon. It could also integrate with the other PlayStation series products, like the PS3 which has great sales, while these already have an existing streaming application. Sony may also plan to introduce this as a feature in it’s Bravia television series. They also plan to have a recommender system to suggest similar shows and movies. Sony is rumored to announce and integrate live-streaming into it’s products by year-end.
This idea, while brilliant, pits it against the top companies, all vying for a spot in the home-theater lounge. We know that the Xbox One will have great TV offerings, and that Intel, Google and Apple are rumored to be working on a similar device. The pricing and business model for this would also be quite controversial, as unlike Netflix, live-streaming requires subscribers to pay directly to the media company, Viacom here. While a pay-per-channel system may definitely attract consumers, it will be interesting to see these how products make consumers want to get rid of cable boxes and leap at this.
Sony is also allegedly in talks with Walt Disney Co., Time Warner Inc., and CBS Corp., the other three of the 4 Media Giants. Sony needs to give a great reason for these companies to take this huge risk, and begin pulling away from television. Also companies like NBC Corp., which is owned by Cable provider Comcast may be less-than-willing to shift to an internet based model.
Studies show that the worldwide market value of the television industry was estimated at to be $435 billion around 2011, and is likely to have gone up since then. The big names, Sony, Google, Apple are looking to cash in on this market with the captivating new ideas. Sony along all the other contenders need to create such stunning products, that the media and television broadcast companies will join in to be part of the race towards internet live-streaming television, and make this capitalize on this sector as much as the smartphone revolution has on mobile communication and entertainment.