Thursday, June 26, 2008

Phone Giants Roll Out 'Three Screen' Strategy

"The nation's largest phone companies sell packages of wireless phone service, Internet access and pay TV to consumers. Now they're taking integration one step further, airing video programming -- and selling ads -- across all three platforms. Content and advertising deals used to be struck separately for each platform. But Verizon Communications Inc. and AT&T Inc., for instance, have cut deals with media companies that allow them to distribute programming -- from "Saturday Night Live" clips to user-generated video -- to cellphone, broadband and TV customers."

Regardless of the device, regardless of where you watch content, or when you watch, advertising can be targeted to reach you across platforms. Phone companies may have let the hard line phone business become invaded by cable, but they are clearly banking on wireless phone as their domain. Combining wireless reach with their movement into cable and hi speed, provides them with a potentially lucrative advantage, provided that they can correctly market a "quad" play - one price approach to the customer.

With access to the consumer across all potential screens, and the ability to integrate ad messages across all platforms, telcos can take serious business back from cable. It seems that cable will need a wireless strategy to continue to effectively compete.