A Teachable Moment About The Value Of Competition

Content is king in the TV and movie world these days. As this piece details, more and more people expect to be able to access content quickly and cheaply. And that has more and people and businesses getting into the business of content. It’s a wonderful thing to see: competition and choice leads to more and more options and pressure on providers to follow through on promises.

Veteran industry analyst Gary Arlen says viewers are embracing the “any program, any platform, anytime” promise that media companies have been espousing for several years. Now comes the reality that audiences expect to find any show they want to see and the “frustration that it may not be so easy to find that promised array of content.”

Arlen’s perspective here is right on. He is reminded of the 1980s, when cable networks started to blossom and young audiences at the time did not recognize the difference between the free over-the-air broadcast channels and cable-only networks. “Today, the variety of streaming over-the-top programs that can be seen on the same flat panel, big-screen TV display that delivers traditional TV channels has blurred the distinction,” he says.

What consumers want and expect is for their needs to be met, and when it comes to TV/movie content, those needs are only partially being fulfilled. That’s an opportunity for providers.

Those of us who embrace freedom and free markets must find a way to help people understand that the same dynamics —  competition leading to more choices and better services — exists in OTHER areas of life as well, including the marketplace for health insurance and health care. Let’s hope that members of Congress jettison Obamacare and embrace competition and choice so that every person who wants insurance can find a plan tailored to his/her needs and cost considerations. Let’s jump in, just as we’ve jumped in to the TV/movie content marketplace.