Cable’s bread and butter, subscription TV, is still king, and the cable industry intends to keep it that way – online video be damned. But, cable does not have their head in the sand either. Quite the contrary – they are looking for ways to leverage online video while preserving their ongoing subscription revenue model. “We want to bring a lot of content that is not online right now, while still preserving the economic model for the industry,” said Karin Gilford, Comcast Interactive Media’s senior vice president of Fancast and online entertainment at a VideoNuze event, held in association with NATPE. Multichannel News reported on the event. To their credit, Comcast is probably the leading cable MSO to embrace the move to digital media. They own several assets focused on the trend including thePlatform and Fancast. They definitely appear to be hedging their bets.
In our opinion, their telco competitors seem a little slower to embrace the move to online video. Sure, the likes of AT&T and Verizon are looking for ways to integrate online video with their TV video offerings, but don’t seem to be as aggressive in actually owning the infrastructure or ‘means of production.’ Of course, they could easily buy into the space when they feel the timing is right – it’s not like they couldn’t afford to. They would also probably argue they’re taking the lead in wireless digital media. But the valuable early lessons learned in the burgeoning trend of online video are occurring now. And for the time being, cable looks to be harvesting it more.