Thursday, January 05, 2012

Comcast's & Disney's New Content Pact -- What It Means to Apple, Google, Amazon, Netflix & Others

Big news yesterday on the online live/linear television front -- Comcast and Disney just brokered an unprecedented 10-year deal for Comcast to carry ABC, ESPN and other Disney owned channels to all Comcast subscribers anywhere -- including online via their smart phones, tablets, etc. In other words, essentially anywhere. This is an important (and likely incredibly expensive) win for Comcast's TV Everywhere initiative -- a closed environment available only behind the pay firewall for Comcast subscribers (in other words, live/linear ABC and ESPN channels will not be available for "free" over-the-top via services like Hulu.

So, what does this mean for Apple's iTV ambitions? Google's living room ambitions? Amazon's Kindle Fire and Prime ambitions? Netflix, Vudu and a host of others? Does this Comcast/Disney deal mean that live channels of television programming from the major networks -- such as the critical ESPN channels -- will never be available by these other non-cable service providers? Does this mean that the tech giants of today are now frozen out for at least 10 years?

Absolutely not!

So long as these tech titans (such as Apple) act in the same manner as Comcast, then they too will have the privilege of providing those critical television programming channels to their customers. How can they do that? By paying big, big, big -- that's how -- just like Comcast has done with Disney. And, by requiring their customers to act like cable customers -- in other words, by requiring customers who want that premium television programming to pay for it via programming packages accessible only to those who subscribe. In other words, the new Comcast/Disney deal simply means that Apple, Google, Amazon and the others will simply need to act like virtual cable companies -- something that I have long believed is inevitable in any event.

Make no mistake. Although the Disney deal is an important "win" for Comcast, cord cutting from traditional cable providers like Comcast will continue to accelerate ....

Cable Cord Cutting Happening Now In a Big Way -- Here is the Data to Prove It

Well, the inevitable cutting of the cable cord by consumers is already happening now in a big way -- contrary to the entrenched parties -- according to leading global analyst firm Deloitte. In Deloitte's new study, "State of the Media Democracy," some of the juicy highlights include:

-- 9% of those surveyed have already cut the cord of their cable companies to provide them with premium video programming
-- 11% more are considering cutting the cord right now
-- 15% indicate they will be watching premium online video (motion pictures and TV) from online sources in the near-term
-- 42% have already streamed a movie from online services (as compared to 28% in 2009)
-- 14% now consider streaming movies to their computer or television as their favorite way to watch a movie (as compared to 4% in 2009)
-- only 19% have NOT viewed a movie from any source (including rental) over the past 6 months (as compared to 37% back in 2007) -- in other words GREATER DISTRIBUTION OPTIONS DOES LEAD TO GREATER CONSUMPTION! (Content owners, take note!)
-- 42% own smartphones (as compared with 25% in 2009)
-- 52% are considering purchasing smartphones now (compared with 40% in 2010).

My Interview About Cloud Workflows at Streaming Media West

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Just published -- my interview at the Streaming Media West conference in LA this past November. We had just launched Squeeze 8, and I primarily discuss the Cloud -- and my strong feeling that the majority of video workflows will gravitate to Cloud-based solutions within the next 3 years.

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