Sprint has announced the launch of Sprint Exclusive Entertainment (SEE), its own network of originally produced content for Sprint mobile phones. SEE, which will initially focus on sports, music, and other entertainment focused programming, will offer brief on-demand programs averaging two minutes in length. Sprint produces the content themselves and expects to deliver up to 150 programs each week. SEE illustrates the continuing trend of service providers producing content for both mobile and landline video networks.
Telecom carriers from the largest to the smallest are experimenting with content production and distribution as a way to offer differentiation from competitors. Distribution of this content is happening across multiple platforms, including VOD, PC, and mobile. As carriers gain more experience in content production, the sophistication and production quality will certainly increase. It’s too early to tell if these moves build significant competitive advantage. There is a contrarian view within telecom spaces that argue content production should be left to those who do it for a living and know it well. These skeptics argue that telecom carriers should stick to what they know and focus on becoming a distributor of content, not a producer. Respectable arguments can be made on both sides of this equation. For the time being, it appears as if the march towards content production will continue by telecom carriers. Time will tell whether this strategy adds any real value to both consumers and company stakeholders.