The following is guest contributed post by Deidre Bakker-Riches, owner of a boutique marketing firm and consultancy, Twlv31 Marketing, and the Head of Communications for Las Vegas advertising agency, Up All Day Creative Solutions (originally published by Mobile Leaders Alliance).
With our rapidly evolving digital world, it is incumbent upon television and cable companies to advance their products and services in order to accommodate our increasingly mobile lifestyles. And, in response to the exponentially growing demand for alternative and streaming TV packages, Comcast recently launched its own internet-based streaming cable service, aptly named Stream.
The new service, which is currently being beta tested in select markets, will offer live TV, on-demand content, and cloud DVR access to Comcast Xfinity Internet customers for $15 per month. In the company’s official announcement released on July 12, Comcast stated that Stream would work without requiring any cable TV equipment or additional devices in order to receive the new service in customers’ homes. Instead, subscribers can simply use their laptops, tablets, or smartphones to view the programming.
With Stream, customers will be able to watch live TV from about a dozen different networks, including all the major over-the-air broadcast networks and HBO on multiple devices throughout their home. The new service also includes thousands of on-demand movies and TV shows that customers can access and watch anywhere, as well as a cloud DVR that allows viewers to record all their favorite content and watch at their leisure. Though, the service is not offered in all Comcast markets at this time — Stream will be available in Boston, Chicago and Seattle later this year, and throughout the company’s coverage areas within the United States in 2016.
In an article written by The New York Times, Matthew Strauss, Comcast Cable’s Executive Vice President and General Manager of Video Services noted that the new offering was aimed at younger consumers who are keen to watch TV on their computers and other mobile devices. He also stated the service could eventually include the option to substitute other premium cable networks in place of HBO, and to also add additional programming to the streaming package, such as children’s, sports, lifestyle and movie programming, for an extra $5 to $10 a month.
However, there are a few potential concerns Comcast may encounter with the new service. Currently, there are already a multitude competitors that offer similar TV streaming services, such as, CenturyLink’s Prism TV, Dish’s Sling TV, Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus, Netflix, Roku, Slingplayer, and VUDU, as well as most of the major television networks. Many of these companies also provide customers with the option to stream content directly to their TVs for those who prefer watching content the traditional way, which Comcast’s Stream currently does not offer. In addition, many of these competitors also provide a larger variety of cable networks to stream, as opposed to only HBO (which already offers its own streaming service, HBO GO). Lastly, customers who do not live in areas where Comcast is not a cable provider will not be able to subscribe to the streaming service at all.
Despite these potential roadblocks, Comcast is nonetheless making great strides to evolve and accommodate our society’s rising mobile demands. And, as with any other new product or service, companies must adapt as they seek to improve their offerings and Comcast will undoubtedly do the same.