Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Move Networks' Schizophrenic "Moves"

Move Networks seems to be having an identity crisis.

The company, with undoubtedly great adaptive bit-rate technology for video streaming, up until recently was an infrastructure company -- courting media companies to be their back-end video solution for video streaming over the Internet. That business model didn't work out, so recently the company shifted gears to become an IPTV company -- enabling TV over the Internet with a "closed" traditional cable linear TV programming model, rather than Hulu's "open" Internet TV approach (the company is featured today in the Wall Street Journal).

But, what's this? As I had understood things previously, Move's new, um, "move" was to enable IPTV for the cable companies and telecoms -- and, the company does help to power Comcast's new IPTV "TV Everywhere" initiative (I have written about this several times before). In the Wall Street Journal article, however, Move's CEO, Roxanne Austin underscores that the company also has designs on DIRECTLY offering consumers its own IPTV services that it dubs "Move TV." In other words, Move apparently intends to compete directly with the cable companies and telecoms that it hopes to otherwise woo with its IPTV solution.

That seems like a dangerous -- and schizophrenic -- game to me. Which one is it? Can you be both enabler and direct competitor?

What will be the company's next move?