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Posts Tagged ‘Comcast’

Video on Demand is Changing the Way We Watch TV, and That’s Good for Everybody

1Sometimes, playing catch up isn’t a bad thing.

Video on demand (VOD), a long-time content consumption afterthought, is now promoted by TV networks, embraced by advertisers, a focus for cable service providers, and used frequently by consumers.

Matt Strauss, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Video Services for Comcast Cable, has been working in the VOD space for a long time and in a phone interview last week with Lost Remote, pinpointed the service’s recent growth to four things:

First is predictability. Historically, consumers would not know which shows were available, how many episodes there would be, or when the content would be loaded after it premiered. Now, the top 100 Nielsen-rated shows are typically made available on Comcast’s VOD platform hours after they first air on linear TV.

Second is ad serving. Programmers now have the ability to swap out ads on VOD just as they have been doing online.

Third is measurement. C3 viewing (Nielsen’s metric for commercial viewing which includes day of broadcast plus three days) has historically only included live viewing and DVR viewing, but now includes VOD.

Fourth is audience. 70% of Comcast subscribers now use VOD services, with a 100% increase in time spent viewing TV content on VOD in the past three years.

More than anything else, predictability has set VOD in motion. An extensive and current content library has allowed consumers to discover shows and to catch up on them, which in turn leads to a return to live TV. Until recently, viewers who missed the boat on a show had to wait until a season ended to catch up on Netflix. Before that, it was via DVD box sets.

Comcast releases a weekly list of the top 20 most viewed shows on its VOD platform. Sometimes the list mirrors the Nielsen ratings, but sometimes it doesn’t.  The implications of this to networks and to advertisers cannot be overstated: audiences are now expanding in season rather than after the season. And whether this results in live TV viewing or in plus-three viewing, more ads are being seen within an important window.

“We’re finding that through on demand we’re seeing an increase in commercial viewing,” Strauss said. “On average we’re seeing about a 20% increase in commercial viewing during the C3 window in Comcast households and that’s even higher than 20% when we look at series that are stacked with a full season. It’s an interesting footnote because I think that there’s a lot of misperceptions around how on demand is viewed and used and I think binge viewing has been miscast, with respect to what we’re finding, in how customers are truly looking to enjoy the video.” Read more

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Why Comcast’s Mobile Hotspot Plans Have Major TV Everywhere Implications

Comcast-LogoThe San Francisco Chronicle reports that Comcast plans to “turn thousands of wireless Internet routers in private homes in the Bay Area into publicly available Wi-Fi hotspots” and that, with 8 million hotspots in 19 U.S. cities available to customers and non-customers alike, the company may be angling to create a wireless phone network.

Mobile hotspots will also have major TV Everywhere implications. The theory is that even if consumers continue to cut cords and unsubscribe from cable packages – and recent Viacom and Adobe TV Everywhere studies show that this is far from the case – a Comcast-Time Warner deal would still give the cable and internet giant control over the bandwidth required to stream – whether through AirPlay or Google Chromecast, or through over-the-top devices like Amazon Fire TV and Roku. If consumers want to unsubscribe from expensive cable packages, so it goes, they cannot unsubscribe from a relationship with Comcast-Time Warner. Read more

2014 Olympics social TV advertising winners: P&G, McDonald’s, and Cadillac

sochiIn 2011, the I.O.C. was “blown away” by Comcast’s $4.38 bid for the media rights to the Olympics from 2014 through 2020. The 2014 Sochi Games comprised $775 million of the deal, which Comcast eventually won. The price may be exorbitant, but by most accounts, the 2014 Winter Olympics was a big victory for NBC.

According to Richard Sandomir of the New York Times: “NBC averaged 21.4 million viewers a night. That is dandy by anyone’s standard: it is like carrying Sunday Night Football, which averaged 21.7 million viewers last season, every night.”

More, according to research from iSpot.tv, six brands – Chevrolet, AT&T, Geico, McDonald’s, Visa, and BMW – each spent more than $50 million to broadcast during the Games. Procter & Gamble was not a top-15 spender, yet it was the biggest digital winner of all brands that advertised during the Games. Read more

Bandwidth, bundles and blackouts mean hard times for the cable industry

86043_86206_2_Image2_cable vs fiber(This is a guest post by Alexis Caffrey (@AlexisCaffrey), a freelance writer with a focus on technology, new media, and design. You can find more of her work at AlexisCaffrey.com).

The cable TV industry may be looking at a big change in the future, according to Cablevision’s CEO Jim Dolan. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Dolan stated “there could come a day’ when his company stops offering television service, making broadband its primary offering.” Read more

Twitter turns into a TV remote as Comcast begins rolling out SEEit service

seeitLast month Comcast and Twitter announced a groundbreaking partnership to tie tweets to Xfinity’s TV service. Today SEEit began rolling out, enabling subscribers to click tweets about SyFy’s Haven and Naked Vegas to watch the shows on an iOS device or set a recording on their DVR. “(It) creates an instant online remote control,” explained Comcast CEO Brian Roberts. It also bridges TV with Twitter directly, creating a new world of data on how tweets can drive TV viewing.

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Zeebox launches in the US with Comcast, NBCU, HBO and Cinemax

The long wait is finally over. Zeebox has officially launched in the US. One of the most highly anticipated social TV announcements of the year is finally here and it's as glamorous and colorful as we predicted. Less than a year since the platform has launched in the UK, Zeebox is now in the US for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android and the Web. They're launch partners include Comcast, NBCU, HBO and Cinemax. Here are the details of one of the biggest social TV launches in history.

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Comcast Ventures invests in celebrity social media tool, WhoSay

Back in February 2011, the highly anticipated (and soon to be disappointing) Oscar co-host James Franco joined Twitter in time for the big broadcast. After the show, Tom Hanks went on Jimmy Kimmel and talked about tweeting. Both stars didn't mention this, but they were using then in stealth-mode WhoSay, the social media management app that has given a celebrities a place to thrive in exclusivity...

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Comcast unveils new TV platform with apps, social home screen

Comcast has taken the wraps off a new cloud-based platform that turns the TV set into an interactive experience with third-party apps and the iPhone or iPad into a multi-gesture remote control. "I think of it as taking all our learnings from the web and all our learnings from video and tying them together," explained Comcast Cable President and CEO Neil Smit, who demonstrated the new products at the Cable Show.

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Comcast rolling out Skype for TV with social features

These days, millions of people call their friends and family on their computers, but Skype is steadily making inroads on TV sets, too. Comcast announced today that its Skype for TV service just launched in Seattle and Boston, with eight more markets launching by the end of the week. The $9.95/month Xfinity add-on includes an HD camera, Skype adaptor and full-keyboard remote control. Once you're wired up, you can access your Skype contacts -- even import from Facebook...

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How Streampix will help Comcast's social TV push

The cable MSOs have long been accused of lagging in product innovation while boosting prices. Meanwhile, web-based services like Netflix and Hulu have grown market share, helping create a new demographic of "cord nevers." But over the last few months, Comcast is fighting back, unleashing a barrage of new products: second-screen Xfinity apps, a cloud-based set-top experience, social TV integration and now its own streaming service, Streampix.

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