Five Things the Average Person Can Take Away From the AT&T-DirecTV Merger
It's hard to know exactly what any merger of two giant conglomerates means for the world. If you are like me, you view the joining of AT&T and DirecTV with about the same level of passing interest you might have for the sports scores from a team in the division of your favorite. That's to say it is mildly interesting and maybe even intriguing depending upon the time of year, but not enough for you do dig into in-depth analysis.
Maybe AT&T can convince DirecTV to ditch those creepy wireless ads.
Which is why when it comes to mergers of technology companies, it makes our collective glazed-over stares more noticeable. But, this one is slightly different. AT&T and DirecTV, competitors in the world of cable television, merging underscores the radical changes taking place in broadcasting and broadband communications. I say radical because it is altering our perception of a technology that has been with us since the 1950s and it is doing so at breakneck pace.
Anyone who has watched a video on a smartphone or used a DVR to store a television show for later or used a streaming video service like Netflix to watch a movie has been touched by these changes, so it makes sense we should try to understand what a merger like this one means. Here are a few things of note.
5.) Information is information.
Photo by Nasa_Goddard
It used to be that news came from some distinctly different places and was consumed using widely divergent technology: TV at home at 5 and 10, radio in the car, newspaper at home or the office. Now, pixels have replaced paper and ink and video and audio, once reserved for TVs and stereos, can be streamed through a device the size of your hand. The key is that all of it is information. Whether you want to watch a movie, listen to a song, read a blog, send an e-mail or talk to a friend, these are all information exchanges. What is important now is the medium, which brings me to...