Congrats, YouTube; You’ve Invented Cable TV
Silicon Valley tech bros love reinventing the wheel and then claiming they've invented the wheel. Some ex-Google folks came up with Bodega, a futuristic concept that would have seen small boxes of snacks and drinks because they completely forgot that vending machines already exist. The idea behind Lyft Shuttle was "busses but expensive." Juicero's big idea was to take the common kitchen juicer and make it as insufferable stupid as possible.
This time, the faux-innovation comes to us from a company that is genuinely innovative: YouTube, and they just invented cable TV. Again.
YouTube changed the media landscape by giving us all a platform to become the next big star and we all squander it every day that we're not making a surreal montage of poorly animated nonsense that we claim is a children's show but is really a Russian mind-control experiment. When YouTube created YouTube TV as a cheap, modern take on cable TV that offered all the channels everyone could want from traditional cable, it was seen as a revelation to cord-cutters.
No contract, no cable box. Just TV channels you can access on your TV or mobile device with unlimited DVR recording space. That dream is pulling further and further away as Google just announced that they've jacked up the price from $35 at launch, to $40 in 2018, and now to $65 a month. That's just regular-ass cable.
YouTube isn't ultimately to blame here. You can blame it on good old traditional media, specifically, the 2019 merger between CBS and Viacom, as Fast Company predicted would happen last year. When these two TV behemoths Super Saiyan fusion danced, they suddenly had hundreds of shows and channels that could be bundled together and sold to for a fortune. Cable customers want channels like Comedy Central, MTV, BET, and Nickelodeon, and CBS-Viacom had them all. They could, and did, charge a premium for them, thus bumping up the price of once-cheap alternative cable TV options like YouTube TV. Corporate greed homogenized exciting Cable 2.0 and reverted it back to just regular old cable. They're not even the only channel bundle to blame. YouTube TV's services went up $10 when they added Discovery and its accompanying suite of channels. The thing that's single-handling killing new cable is the fact that it still relies so heavily on old cable's business tactics. If the prices keep going up people will just go back to the way of the ancestors: BitTorrent.
Luis can be found on Twitter and Facebook. Catch him on the "In Broad Daylight" podcast with Cracked alums Adam Tod Brown and Ian Fortey! Check out his regular contributions to Macaulay Culkin's BunnyEars.com and his "Meditation Minute" segments on the Bunny Ears podcast. Listen to the first episode on YouTube!
Top Image: YouTube