Given the choice, would you opt for sushi programming?

Okay, okay. This is my way of asking about ala carte programming for your television. With the explosion of options in what to watch at home, would you prefer the current slate of channels from your cable or satellite provider, or would you prefer something that more resembles a sushi menu? In other words, a screen with every channel available with a checkbox next to it. Then you simply click the boxes of the channels that you want to receive. You would be charged per selection, with some (such as ESPN or HBO) going for top dollar, and others (such as The Food Network and The Military Channel) going for less.

Another way to look at it is, will all video boil down to two choices: 1) Live (or close to it) programming? This would primarily be sports, politics, award shows, and news. Or 2) Anything that is not time-sensitive? I can watch most of my programs anytime. The only pressure coming from being “in the know” so that I can talk and read about the shows without having the drama spoiled (yes, the dreaded “spoiler alerts”).

The future of programming in a digital universe has many implications, and they’re being tested around the globe as we explore the implications of each. Often, what the consumer wants isn’t necessarily what the corporations feel is in their best interest. But with the rapid deployment of options, I can guarantee that some enterprising upstart will stumble across a¬†winning formula. Certainly, Netflix and Amazon are already rewriting the rules.

Very exciting!

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