There’s a reason cable companies are some of the most-hated businesses in America: they don’t make it easy to buy their product. The options are few, the prices high and the terms inflexible. As a result of the global recession and emerging competitors like Netflix and Hulu, the number of cable subscribers in America has been dropping since 2008. Americans know there’s another way to access video and television content and they’re no longer satisfied to keep being held hostage by the cable companies.
U.S. cable operators are privately working on a plan to force programmers to unbundle their networks and allow customers to subscribe to channels on an individual basis.
The plan represents a complete reversal from cable operators’ long-held opposition to what is known as “a la carte” programming. Over the last decade, the cable industry battled ferociously with regulators to protect the right to bundle programming, arguing it offered customers the best value.
But executives now say the change is a necessary response to shifting dynamics such as higher carriage costs and using the Web to watch programs, as well as a weak economic recovery that has forced many consumers to cancel cable television subscriptions.
(“In Switch, Cable Operators Want to Go “A La Carte”, Reuters, 9/27/11)
This is the beginning. The beginning of a new era of empowered customers who want to curate the content they pay for – before they pay for it.
From the beginning, OpenSesame has been proud to make learning content not only digital, portable and on-demand, but chunky. One complaint we hear constantly is that purchasing elearning content is as inflexible as subscribing to an in-home cable package. We offer an alternative: Pay for only the courses you will use. We’re thrilled to see the cable television companies jumping the chunky content bandwagon.
Image Credit: phrenzee on Flickr