Trends Report

The Fight To Control The TV Becomes A Platform War

May 16th, 2012
With contributors:
Carlton Doty , Sander Rose


The fight to control the TV is a battle for the more than 114 million TV households that, until now, have been under the quiet control of cable and satellite providers and the broadcast and cable networks that supply them with content. But this year, that comfortable control will not only come under siege, it will be forfeit. The open question is which of the three eager entrants — Apple, Google, and Microsoft — will grab the largest number of TV households in 2012 in order to dominate TV's fragmenting viewers in the years to come. Each combatant has a consumer device strategy, to be sure, but it's their platform strategies that will determine the TV winner in the long term. In this report, we use Forrester's latest data about current use of consumer devices and platforms to claim that Microsoft is leading the disruptive onslaught in US living rooms today. We also explore what aspiring players and existing competitors should do to partner or pioneer their way into the future of TV.

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