Time Warner Cable is under attack for their new iPad App that allows users with iPad’s to watch their subscription cable TV anywhere in their home on their iPad. This new App that Time Warner released on March 15, 2011 has already been downloaded by 300,000 customers, but has received a surprisingly negative backlash from programmers that has included at least one or more documented cease and desist letters sent to Time Warner. Time Warner’s Chief programming officer Melinda Witmar said, “We certainly did not anticipate that programmers would be unhappy about this in any way. TWC has received a number of inquiries and there are definitely some programmers who said they don’t agree… (we) have been sent “one or more” cease-and-desist letters but so far there has been no formal lawsuit lodged over the TWCable TV app.”
I can’t understand why programmers would be against this? I mean it just allows the subscriber to get the cable content they are paying for anywhere in their home and increases the chance that they are watching the programmers’ programs and seeing their advertisements, right? Can anyone explain to me why this would be a bad thing for the programmers? Do you think this is an issue of the programmers not fully understanding the technology here?
The second thing I found interesting about this story is that Time Warner has now responded by creating a website entitled, “http://iwantmytwcabletvapp.com/”
This site is for customers and other interested parties to weigh in on the issue and provide feedback. The four links featured are Home, Behind the Scenes, Join the Discussion and What You’re Saying. It also has a live Twitter News Feed from Time Warner Cable embedded on the page. This approach to “fixing” the problem is fantastic and something I think we will see more and more of in the years ahead, companies turning over the issue to the masses through social media and discussion platforms.
Do you think the backlash from the programmers in response to the App is an issue of simply not understanding the technology or something more?
What risk does a company run when they turn over an issue to the masses through social media? How do they moderate/keep it in control without being too restrictive?