Monday, October 31, 2011

Digital Media and Entertainment: Comcast





A LEADER ON THE BRINK OF DISRUPTION

Company Overview: Comcast is the leading cable provider of video, internet, and phone services in the U.S., and after their recent acquisition of NBC Universal, they are also a global leader in the development, production, and distribution of media and entertainment. But despite their leadership position, Comcast is definitely on the defensive, understanding that the disruption of digital technology is approaching. While they have made several moves in recent years, acquiring NBC Universal and partnering with software and technology companies, they also have to deal with the internal issues centered around customer service and reputation in an increasingly service-oriented digital world.

Expansion into the Mobile Space: Comcast has recently introduced services that expand their business model into mobile, including the introduction of Xfinity TV and Xfinity 2go. Xfinity TV is a mobile application available for free on iPad and Android tablets that offers current subscribers the opportunity to watch TV shows and movies anywhere and anytime they want. Xfinity TV may also later serve as a platform for other applications, as they look to partner with Samsung and incorporate the Xfinity TV in with the Samsung Smart TV. Xfinity 2go is a mobile broadband wireless solution that allows customers to take the internet with them wherever they go, at 3G and 4G speeds courtesy of their partnership with Clearwire and Sprint Nextel.

Strategic Acquisitions: Comcast recently acquired broadcast network and production studio NBC Universal from GE in 2011. This mega-merger sets the stage for other large-scale deals for content on behalf of competitors in the internet delivery of entertainment. Comcast was faced with increased competition from Netflix, Vudu, Hulu, and other internet streaming companies, and their response was to vertically integrate content into their service offering. Only time will tell whether this was the right move for Comcast to make, but what is certain is that Comcast is

Partnerships to Prepare for What’s Next: Comcast has made several strategic partnership deals in the past several years in anticipation of the digital transformation of the media and entertainment industry. By partnering with Samsung, Clearwire, Sprint Nextel, Microsoft, Skype, and Facebook, Comcast is looking to maintain their leadership position by teaming up with technology companies in the face of this digital transformation. This offers some insight into the fact that Comcast knows the future of Hollywood, like many other digitally transformed industries in recent years, will go through Silicon Valley.

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