As a result, he downgraded CBS, Disney, Discovery, News Corp and Scripps from "Buy" to "Neutral." This is no small thing. Ads follow viewers. Fewer viewers, fewer ads – and less ad dollars.
He notes that in aggregate, cable TV is up some eight percent since 2008, when the ongoing "depression" began to gather steam. But revenues are not ratings. Audiences continue to slump, and over time this bodes ill for the industry.
What could be causing the malaise? He cited a combination of "Netflix, warmer weather, job gains, lack of hit shows, and faulty Nielsen measurement." But here's the bottom line: "While we've tried to quantify these sources ... we can't explain the entire ratings shortfall."
Gee, a leading media analyst can't figure out why cable TV – and the visual media generally – is in a slump? How about the Internet?
The Internet is perhaps the "fifth communication technology wave." There are plenty of nuances involved in such a statement, but it constitutes at least a rough description.
What were they? Well, perhaps the first was rock painting, the second was carved tablets, the third paper and ink (papyrus), the fourth book printing and the fifth ... electronic communication technology. But this fully came into its own with the Internet, which is a fundamental adaption, whereas TV, phones, etc. were not.
What's going on via a paradigm is called the Internet Reformation. The Internet Reformation is as fundamental as the Gutenberg Press that brought tremendous changes to the world.
These include the Renaissance, the Reformation and the populating of the New World as well as the advent of the scientific method and the gradually diminishment of the Roman Catholic Church as the world's ultimate arbitrator.
Some will say that the Internet is merely a tool, but human beings are tool-using creatures and tend to define their societies by the tools they use. Tools, in other words, can be transformative. Here's some more from the article:
Citi cited a combination of Netflix, warmer weather, job gains, lack of hit shows, and faulty Nielsen measurement as possible culprits. Bazinet et al then concluded: "...while we've tried to quantify these sources, the bottom line is that we can't explain the entire ratings shortfall. We are flummoxed."
Here's one possible solution: People aren't watching cable anymore because they're using their cable service to play on the internet instead. The TV business as a whole is now sliding down the same slope that ruined the newspaper business: People abandoning old, expensive media for cheap, new web media.
But much as the Gutenberg Press undermined the system set up by the powers-that-be 500 years ago, so the Internet is doing the same sort of thing now. This bodes poorly for the kind of mind control that the elites exercised in the 20th century. It is another reason to be hopeful about the future.
Conclusion: The Internet is NOTHING like TV. It is an active interrelationship more akin to reading than a passive one, like TV. The transformation of society's messaging continues apace, and this is surely not to the liking of the power elite . But the Internet is a process not an episode.