Flipping through yesterday's Best Buy circular, I noticed an ad (see below), which I believe is indicative of the type of pitches that are going to become increasingly prevalent to prospective cord-cutters and cord-nevers. The ad offers a packaged discount to an over-the-air ClearStream HD antenna from Antennas Direct with a TiVo Premiere and highlights logos from Netflix, Hulu Plus and Pandora. While the ad doesn't explicitly say "Dump your expensive pay-TV service now!," it has several key messages that might as well.
The ad's bold lead is "SAVE MONEY," which will clearly resonate for households where pay-TV has become a relatively significant monthly outlay. The "WATCH MORE" reference suggests that you won't be giving up anything by going this route. And surely the Netflix/Hulu Plus/Pandora logos capitalize on these services' widespread appeal to help validate the offer. The broadcast plus OTT content packaging raises the question of cable TV networks' value to subscribers, because this is mainly what would be unavailable with this bundle.
Of course, what's not stated in the ad is that there's no guarantee the antenna will work well given the particulars of your location, nor that the there's a monthly service charge with TiVo and with the OTT services for that matter. Despite all of this, I think the larger picture here is that Best Buy sees potential in pitching an alternative to pay-TV based on price and content. No question, "cobbling" together services like these is not a substitute for pay-TV service, but I do think for certain households (e.g. non sports fans, entertainment-only, economically-challenged, etc.) the ad will resonate.
Project out further to when other services (e.g. Aereo, YouTube, Crackle, etc.) become more powerful as promotional brands and you get an idea of where the marketing landscape is heading. I continue to believe cord-cutting isn't about to sweep the land, but I do believe as the Best Buy ad suggests, alternatives are going to get much more visibility, tipping a certain percentage of existing or prospective pay-TV subscribers in this direction.