Monday, November 10, 2008

CTAM - Cable Has The Best Positioning

The cable industry likes how it is positioned against competition in the content distribution space, despite a bad economy. The use of bundling of communication services - cable, phone, and data, the consumer of these products is less likely to switch or drop services. "Cable subscriptions are still cheaper than taking the family to two movies a month, executives noted. The bigger challenge, going forward, is figuring out how to let consumers move content they have already paid for among the technological platforms they utilize." That mobility seems to be the next step in controlling the customer. Verizon and AT&T each bring a huge fourth component to the mix, wireless. What they have yet to do is build that product into a bundle as successfully as cable has done. And cable is looking to add a wireless partner as well.

"Ellen East, executive vice president and chief communications officer at Time Warner Cable, said her company is looking at a way consumers can authenticate themselves as paid subscribers when logging directly onto programmer’s sites. That authentication would allow the viewers to access television content on their PCs or mobile platforms. " It once again calls into question the relationship between content and distribution. Content owners are keen to control where they exhibit and how they are reimbursed; distribution companies offer the backbone and the ability to aggregate and monetize multiple pieces of content to the subscriber.

Consumers are looking for more ways to control when and where they are viewing content. And as we have become a more mobile society, the content needs to follow us, not us to it. It may not make a lot of sense that consumers may be watching long form content on tiny screens, but it is for them to decide what serves their need best.

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