There have been a number of articles lately about people cutting costs by cancelling/cutting cable TV service.
This is an interesting discussion.
I think this revelation was "old" when my good friend Luke Kanies uttered out loud to the Tennessee Legislature that all content would be packetized within 5 years. This was in 2002 and he was right. At the time, the MPAA was trying to strong arm legislation so that they could control the pipes in anticipation of this happening. It didn't work and I think you will see a paradigm shift in the next 2 years as people wake up to this reality. With the exception of live sports or other "noteworthy" events (Pres speaking, breaking news, etc), there's very little reason to have cable in its packaged form. You can download almost anything and in a lot of cases, the quality is good. Sometimes better than cable due to poor compression.
But this got me thinking about something else that has been brewing. I've been saying for a few weeks that all of this 'chaos' in the economy is really the result of a transition to an information based economy. All of the disintermediation that we were yapping about in the early-mid 90's when the internet came of age has happened, and now we're seeing the effects. As institutions from the 20th century come crumbling down because they can no longer control the distribution of information.
This has happened in retail, automotive, finance, real estate, the content industries (movies, music, news, etc), and is about to happen in health care and government. This has some MAJOR implications, which we are feeling very much at the moment.
For one, with as interconnected as everything is globally, this type of instability in institutions has massively cascading effect on the world.
The other is that the entire nature of "work" and "career" is also changing. No longer are we safer or even more productive in large organizations. In fact, competition is so fierce and the need for adaptability so great, that large organizations have a hard time even picking priorities, much less executing on them. I think that a new era of small teams or individuals will take over, as the building blocks of commerce.