Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Time Warner Cable Launches New Plans

Last week, Time Warner announced a new low end tier of cable service, less cable channels, for a lower price. Some expensive licensed channels, ESPN and Disney, were named as not included in this low end tier. It is a valiant attempt at keeping a customer from defecting altogether. A downgrade is better than a disconnect.

At the same time, Time Warner has enhanced its upper end tier pricing as well. "Time Warner Cable will charge high-end customers $199.99 per month for a new "white glove" service option that it has dubbed Signature Home. According to a report in Bloomberg News Tuesday, Time Warner Cable is testing the service in Charlotte, N.C. and will roll it out nationally in the next few weeks." Will this new high end service package upsell some, perhaps it will simply offset the same number that downgrade and hence a break even for the company.

Kudos to Time Warner for at least being innovative in their pricing, given the needs of their customers. Whether, the response matches or exceeds the effort remains to be seen. How much marketing is done to push these new pricing tiers will show us how committed they really are to these programs. And to that we will just have to wait and see.

More iPad Uses, More iPads

A product is only as good as what it does. Develop more uses, create more usage, and more products should sell off the shelf. So was the case with Arm & Hammer baking soda, and so is the case with the iPad. For baking soda, Arm & Hammer pushed more usage, not just in cooking, but as an air freshener in the refrigerator, as an additive to toothpaste, and so on. The result was that usage rose dramatically. For the Apple iPad, the more uses, the more desire to use, and the more users. Thus the upcoming announcement.

"Apple may hold a press event as soon as Dec. 9 with a number of print executives -- including News Corp's Rupert Murdoch -- to unveil a new subscription billing option for newspapers and magazines on the iPad." Building out new subscription models with unique content can only drive the value of the iPad brand. Apple understands the basic marketing business model and is successfully capitalizing off it. By creating more need for the iPad, sales will rise this Holiday season and beyond.