Baratunde Quoted In NY Times On People Cutting Cable TV


Mr. Jackson and many others said that doing without a pay television service had economic benefits, too. Not spending $39.99 a month for a basic cable package from Time Warner or Cablevision means he has more money to spend on the weekend.

“It’s expensive to live in New York City and very expensive when the economy is imploding,” said Baratunde Thurston, 31, a Web editor at The Onion who watches video podcasts, YouTube and streaming video over the Web from Netflix.

“In very uncertain times, you want to lower your expenses, and cable was something I wasn’t using,” he said. “So I had a strong financial incentive to cut it.”

I could talk about this subject for hours, but there's one notion that didn't make it into the final post which I think deserves some attention.

Since Ken interviewed me, Boxee had to remove the Hulu service from it's software. Boxee has acted as my primary cable TV replacement, allowing me to sit on my couch and use an apple remote to watch video, much like... television!

It seems like many cable companies pressured Hulu into blocking boxee, hoping to force us back to their monopolistic teet. What is missing from most analyses of cable-cutters like me, however, is the idea that we'll just watch or do something else.

A business model built on exclusive access can only last so long. Either people will find other ways to access your content (iTunes, bittorrent), they'll watch something else (shows that are available, clips on YouTube) or they'll do something else (read books and blogs, play video games, hang out on Facebook and Twitter).

While cost was a big driver of my decision to leave cable and the ability to access some of my favorite shows via Hulu helped ease the transition, the bigger factor was that I'm doing a lot more with my time besides watching TV programs, and I don't really miss it. I feel as informed and culturally connected as in the past but with the added benefit of significantly lower cost and significantly more control.

Posted via web from baratunde's posterous