Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Nielsens = no more cable

I like participating in market research. You want to know about what I think about your products and services? Just ask!

Seriously, I rarely pass on a chance to fill out a survey if it is legit, so you can imagine I was pretty pleased when the Nielsen people asked us to be one of their "families."

So, we got a little weeklong diary in the mail to fill out anytime we watched TV. Now, I know I don't watch a lot of television, but I do watch 24, Lost, Desperate Housewives, Chuck (my fave!), Grey's Anatomy and bits and pieces of Dancing with the Stars, the Amazing Race, The Bachelor, The Bachelorette and a bunch of other shows. Only I watch them, with the butterfly lady, online.

And truth be told, you can only get me to actually watch Chuck and 24. I mostly just hang out while the others are on. But make no mistake about it: I do watch TV.

Only, this week we turned on the TV just once, on Saturday after a major bout of gardening left me, my dear friend Chris and the BL needing some mindless entertainment. We channel surfed for a few hours, and that was it for our TV consumption. Today, the cable people dropped by to shut off the TV feed. Of course, we still buy our Internet service from them, but if we can live with this, I think we're saving about $600 a year and we still get the content we want.

Sound familiar? Yeah, to me, too. But hey, I make no bones about having used Craigslist - not newspaper classifieds - to sell two cars (they were old, but they sold) and a loom. Who wouldn't? It's free. It works.

I already pay for my Internet service, so I'm not exactly getting my shows for free now, and the people I'm paying are the same ones I was paying for cable, so I don't think this counts as freeloading, the way reading newspapers online for free does.

Maybe that was the big mistake newspapers made: not owning a delivery system that remains relevant. It's hard to see that as a mistake, really, more just the luck of the draw. If customers really wanted 15,000 of something delivered by hand each day, we'd be just the people to hook them up. I mean, unless those customers owned stamps.

No comments: