There is a generational gap that has occurred in recent years. Those of us who hide our gray hair and look for bathroom scales that weigh five pounds light also use cable TV. A generation or two below my age stratosphere there are massive sea changes brewing and your local phone company wants to be a part.
These days the iPhone and various Android-based devices have become the de facto traveling cable TV company (without the cable) by using mobile devices to be entertained and informed. Not only has AT&T become a content distribution company, Verizon wants to get in on the mobile action and might buy Yahoo!
Last year Verizon bought once proud and nightly AOL for nearly $4.5-billion, so a $5-billion price tag for Yahoo! seems plausible. What would Verizon get for all that money? A lot of users and plenty of user generated content.
Why does Verizon want to get into the internet content business?
Money, obviously. After spending many tens of billions AT&T has become a massive telecommunications giant that distributes content to a hundred million customers. Verizon needs to play in the same game because, you know, competition.
There’s also the need to grow. It’s not as if Verizon isn’t profitable already, but the stock market rewards companies that take bold risks and grow. Verizon needs to grow even if the company does not know diddly squat about what AOL and Yahoo! actually do (not make much money comes to mind).
From my perspective overlooking Lake Michigan I see a bunch of companies that want to compete and grow and chart their own course to the future. Verizon and AT&T compete, obviously enough, but in a strange way they both compete with Google and Facebook and Google competes with Microsoft and Apple and Amazon.
See? What a mess. All those companies want you and your iPhone (and iPad and Mac; you get the idea, right?) because that’s where the growth in content consumption is, and that means a few hundred million customer and user eyeballs, and somewhere, somehow, on a spreadsheet and PowerPoint slideshow somewhere, they make money.
As much as I would like to see Apple get into the internet content distribution business with a cable TV cord cutter service, it may not happen. And as long as I can have my iPhone and iPad connect with everything anywhere, I’m OK with that.