What’s next for Aereo?


As the dust settles on ABC vs Aereo, a clear cord cutter loss, I thought it might be fun to speculate on conversations going on at Aereo headquarters right now. Here are some ideas – admittedly not all of them good ones – on a possible “Plan B” for the company. Feel free to let me know if you think of some I overlooked.


1. Go out of business completely.

Start-ups come and go, and investors know it, but Aereo made it well past the typical market trial phase – they had paying customers in 11 cities. It would be a shame to simply walk away completely. As of this writing CEO Chet Kanojia has announced that Aereo is turning off but calling the shutdown temporary.


2. Become legal, pay the broadcasters, and become a real cable operator.

There are some intriguing concepts here including becoming the first nation wide streaming cable operator. Of course this is no longer a cord cutter thing. But no other cable operator today can (or is willing to) offer Pay TV services to anyone with an internet connection. Another sub-option would be to offer a la carte. This is no doubt technically possible – Netflix for example could do it. Bu the economics of content fees could be a deal killer.


"Individual" antenna? Aereo's fate depends on this

The infamous “dime sized antenna” may become history.

3. Move off-shore.

Internet gambling companies have tried this approach with some success. The problem here is your company might be legal but the activity is still not.


4. Forget about streaming broadcasts  – focus on cloud DVR.

If Aereo offered a cloud  DVR service for your own personal recordings, there might be some takers. This would be pretty close to the Slingbox model. But Slingbox stores your data in the box. Perhaps there would be some appeal of having it in the cloud.


5. Focus on alternate legal content.

If Aereo had millions of subscribers they might have a stronger position bargaining with content providers. Aereo has been silent on subscriber count but  one report that New York had 100K hints that  the total number might be under 1 million. That being the case they night consider offering something cheap or free while building up their cord cutter loyalists. Unfortunately it’s hard to come up with free content these days. At least that’s not already easily streamed.


Well that’s all I could come up with, and the only two that seem even mildly attractive are # 2 and #4. Better ideas anyone?





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13 Responses to What’s next for Aereo?

  1. Len Mullen says:

    check your email 😉

    • Greg says:

      Chet Kanojia makes his cause sound so humanitarian. I think this was a business not a non-profit.I’m realizing that their clever micro antennas may never find another application.

      • Len Mullen says:

        “Tell Mike it was only business. I always liked him.”

        Very few people were directly impacted by the decision. If anything, this will inflame contempt for Big Cable, the broadcasters, and Big Media. Simple and Channel Master have already reached out to Aereo orphans. It’s unfortunate for the plaintiffs that the ruling came during summer. I talked to some Aereo subscribers. None plan to return to cable and one has already installed an antenna.

    • Len Mullen says:

      I read the transcript of the hearing and was very impressed with the knowledge and engagement of the justices. Then I read their decision and was shocked that it seemed to be completely disconnected from the hearing. In the end, I think they just wanted to kill Aereo and were not going to be swayed by logic or law.

  2. Bob A. says:

    By the way, Filmon.com is still re broadcasting OTA channels, and continuing to add more.

  3. Bob A. says:

    And you can still watch USTVnow and roku carries that.

    • Greg says:

      Do you have a paid account? Are you using a proxy?

      • Bob A. says:

        I actually signed in with facebook yesterday, I had a free account but forgot all my info, so I created another one with facebook. The free account gets you low def over the air channels only, I even put my country as USA, no proxy.

      • Bob A. says:

        Roku only provides service if you have a paid account to USTVnow.

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