It’s a jungle out there

The ways we consume video has undergone a rapid shift in the last 20 years.

Until some 10 years ago, we watched TV either by using a terrestrial antenna or hooking up a cable set top box to our Televisions.

Companies like Microsoft tried various initiatives to get their software into the set top boxes and drive the User Experience. I recall WebTV, MSN TV, Microsoft TV, Windows Media Center as various flavors that were attempted. It was exciting times back then. I was involved in a few of those efforts

Now we have Xbox, Roku, AppleTV, Xfinity, DirectTV, Dish, Android TV, FireTV, Sling TV, various Smart TVs among others engaged in capturing our leisure time and money. On top of that we have the media content providers such as Netflix, HBO, Hulu, Amazon fighting for attention. The choices are great for the consumer.

Increasing bandwidth to the home, the mobile phone, maturity of streaming protocols have come together to create this large ecosystem.

The net neutrality debates have thrown more attention into this area as internet providers want to play up the entertainment stack.

Subscription and advertising are the two revenue models in vogue for the providers.

We have personally switched from using a cable set top box to Roku.

This is fascinating to observe. It would be an interesting exercise to crystal ball this space. All I can say for now is that the market is bound to remain fragmented.

What do you think? Any prognostications?