Thursday, October 24, 2013

Will US Cable Operators Embrace Netflix?

Two weeks ago Netflix stock went up over 20 points on the news FierceCable passed on that they are in talks with cable operators including Comcast and Suddenlink. This week they shot up further on news their subscriber base is growing rapidly. Netflix already has a cozy relationship with Cablevision, and has a more tightly coupled integration with Liberty Global and Virgin Media through Tivo.

Up to this point, some operators have gone so far as to create their own competitive VOD service. Operators have made clear choices to either embrace Netflix or treat them as a competitor. Netflix and the operators know that either way there are many users with both services and as reported in the original article in the Wall Street Journal, Netflix would "love to reduce the friction to the end consumer." 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

4K OTT Coming Soon?

Netflix chief Hastings on the prospect of 4K content: "Downloads would be on the order of 45-60GB, requiring a substantial high-speed data connection for the interested consumer." No date was given on when 4K content would be available, but it is conceivable that Netflix will be the first major purveyor of ultra HD movies.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Couch

The adage 'couch potato' has transformed with the proliferation of smart phones and tablets. Almost every individual on the couch is using a laptop, messaging with friends, or gaming or surfing on a tablet while 'watching' TV. In the last year or so, cable companies have started to offer applications on those devices to help you view guides, use secondary content applications and in some cases view content (the breadth of content on secondary devices is growing as licensing deals are extended).

Consider the contrast of the computer and the TV. In regards to entertainment consumption, the visible difference is the computer is mostly a one-to-one device, verses the TV which is one-to-many. What happens when your phone starts allowing you to do things like 'vote' interactively for a reality TV show, or becomes the remote control? The battle over the remote is well documented and phones and tablets are controlled by the owner, where the remote is a shared device. I hope application developers keep this in mind and consider multiple parties on the couch each with a single device that might want to interact with the TV. Do you allow all devices to be the remote control? Image the possible chaos. However, if voting is allowed, shouldn't each person on the couch get to vote using their own device?

The couch where this is often discussed is at the therapists, they might want to prepare for a much more complex world!