Cable

In the 40s and 50s, the Cable industry was born. By the mid 60s it had almost a million subscribers. In the 70s and 80s the FCC regulated it heavily because of how much of an influence it had on the American consumer. Cable TV was everywhere by the 90s and currently more then 1/2 of all households have cable based TV. It's a massive industry that's dominated by a handful of players. Those players are the brokers of what is allowed to appear on their listings and as channel options expanded, people increasingly felt like there's "nothing on". Still, a majority of people have it because of ease of access (hit the power button on TV and entertainment is there, 0 cognitive load). Sound familiar? The Cable industry is very similar to the LMS industry. It's been around forever (since early 90s) and has been dominated by only a handful of players in the space. They effectively have a monopoly on the way that educational material is presented and transferred from instructor to learner. They control that pipeline and no matter how many channels (or LTI based apps) you have, everyone still complains there's "nothing on".

Cord cutting

While you may have read the term in the news more recently, cord cutting has been a trend since the lat 2000s when Hulu and Netflix began their streaming services, allowing people to go "over the top" so to speak and skip cable while continuing to get information and entertainment. But it really hasn't taken off until recently? If there were options out there, why is it only now getting so much publicity? Hulu and Netflix have been around for about 9 years, why are the currently disrupting cable?

Enter, the Roku

Roku is a device that came out 2008 as a device for streaming Netflix and by 2010 starts to support other apps like Hulu and..well.. anyone that wanted on it. You see Roku had an open source SDK that effectively said "if you implement this and notify us, you'll show up in our channel listing". This allowed anyone that had media to stream access to peoples' homes that had a Roku box connected to a TV. Other reasons Roku was transformative from a user experience perspective: