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Comcast to distribute content on web

April 29, 2007

There’s a good article by the Wall Street Journal that talks about Comcast’s decision to become a video destination on the web. In my opinion, Comcast is smart in making this move before it’s too late. The cable industry is going to have to deal with this growing Internet video juggernaut and only by adapting and leveraging the Internet as a revenue source will they have a chance at maintaining shareholder value in the long-run.

From the article:
“Comcast’s move into Web video is partly defensive. Like other producers and distributors of TV content, it was horrified by the devastating impact of the Internet on the music business. Company executives acknowledge what they’re trying to do is tricky: create new places for consumers to view TV programming without hurting the value of their traditional cable business.”

Given the rapidly-changing face of the television/film/video distribution game, one has to wonder how quickly and drastic the shift in power from cable companies to consumers/content providers will be. With content being distributed online, a consumer won’t be limited in its choices by its local cable provider. In addition, Internet shows are all “on demand” which further gives consumers choice of watching what they want, when they want. Throw in the fact that consumers are skipping past advertisements through DVR/Tivo, and we’ve got a very intimidating situation for Cable companies.

At least Comcast is aware of this and taking action. An example of someone who doesn’t understand the necessity to adapt to changing business landscapes is real estate mogul Sam Zell. Earlier this month, Zell made a bold statement by saying newspapers, such as the Tribune, should stop making their content available to Google and other search sites. Unlike Comcast, Zell is extremely naive if he thinks he can stop the trends of the Internet, and even more naive if he actually thinks that the Tribune would be in a position to bully Google. Its also amazing that he doesn’t realize how Google and search engines contribute to spreading newspaper content. A little off topic, but you get my gist.

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