Comcast’s decision regarding it’s non participation in Roku and other such streaming devices is upsetting to subscribers. Comcast’s reasons apparently stem from its fear of losing money to over-the-top competitors such as Google TV, Apple TV, and Boxee. And though industry executives are sure that cable will outlast the OTT fad, streaming content is a wave that cannot be resisted.
The almighty dollar is the driving force behind the decision from one of the largest pay television distributors. Providers of streaming content have concerns about simultaneous and non-regional streaming of their movies as people share with friends and family. However, technology development finds ways to monitor how its content is being used. For instance, Netflix’s recent pricing change came with a watchdog, limiting streaming of its movies.
Comcast’s hard line stance on its refusal to add its name to list of companies streaming content through OTT devices is a moot point to stand on. Since HBO Go is available through Comcast to stream online and as an phone app, it is accessible to anyone with an account username and password.
The tsunami of streaming media is gaining speed and size and there is no escape. The number of devices available that stream quality media are growing at both ends of the price spectrum. This Christmas promises to be a gainful one for Roku as they have come out with their $50 Roku LT. With such devices gaining popularity, it isn’t likely that a change in Comcast policy will adversely affect the company’s quarterly statements, the opposite in fact is a more reasonable conclusion.
It is true that Comcast, like many other cable providers, is losing cable video subscribers; however, gains are seen in broadband subscriptions. With the added participation in OTT devices would offer a hook to this generation of media hungry customers who want their HBO Go and a variety of viewing methods.
Recently Time Warner Cable has changed its tune, making HBO Go available on Roku devices and Microsoft’s XBox 360 in addition to it availability online and through phones and hand held devices. Rather than fighting the inevitable, TWC understands that a swift marriage of cable and streaming content better serves the company and the consumer and gives the cable giant a leg up on the competition. Eventually more big name cable providers, like Comcast, will follow suit. Until then, the swell of dissatisfied subscribers wait for their television distributors to get on board.