Friday, September 27, 2013

Intel Media Having Trouble Starting Up

What if you built potentially the best mousetrap but couldn't find either the cheese or the locations to place it.  Well that might just be the troubles facing Intel Media, a business inside Intel building its own OTT box and platform.  According to the article, the box was built and it looked and worked great; problem was that there are no content deals to run through the platform.  So, according to Peter Kafka at All Things D, it is time to either find a strategic partner or close up shop.

I certainly hope for the former as I know a few people on the team and have the utmost respect in what they are doing.  Their challenge is the same one that Apple seems to also face, how to get real content deals with the major cable and broadcast networks.  Truth is, it may be impossible to get linear network deals with these content companies.  They are so deeply in bed with the traditional Pay TV distributors, cable, satellite, and telco, that it is not in their best interest to risk these guaranteed monthly subscriber fees.  And despite having a superior OTT box, Intel Media should recognize the challenges being faced to get such a device into the home.  TiVo has been facing similar challenges for years.  So even if Intel Media gets some content deals, getting consumers to pay Intel for their OTT box and content may be an extremely difficult task.

The article suggests partnerships with Amazon and Samsung although I fail to see immediately what benefit they would derive from such a partnership or how it would best serve Intel.  While its box may be designed for streaming, its DVR feature is most likely meant for linear channels.  For now, Intel Media faces a daunting task, neither content nor distribution and the corporate clock is ticking.  As the article suggests, with its new CEO, this business may become DOA.

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