Light Reading
Reports that Comcast has a YouTube competitor in the works may have been overstated, but that doesn't mean the cable company won't go that route in the future.

How Comcast Could Take on YouTube

Mari Silbey
3/11/2014
50%
50%

Not long ago, reports surfaced that Comcast had a YouTube-like service under development. According to The Information and some speculative analysis, the giant MSO is planning a new video service with short-form content designed to be delivered right alongside traditional TV service on a cable set-top box.

The rumors, however, appear to have been overstated. Multiple sources have told us that there isn't anything imminent in Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)'s video product plans. While the cable company has explored creating its own YouTube Inc. service, it doesn't appear -- at least at the moment -- to be interested in competing head to head with Google (Nasdaq: GOOG).

Comcast certainly has a lot on its plate right now. Between the proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) and the continued rollout of Xfinity cloud-based services, the cable operator has a long operational to-do list.

Yet those same activities that are keeping Comcast busy today are also preparing it for a future where launching a short-form Web video service could make a lot of sense. The expanded footprint of a combined Comcast/TWC entity would give the bigger company greater scale to compete with YouTube nationally. Plus, Comcast's cloud-based infrastructure will make it more feasible for the company to store and deliver a wider range of content. (See Comcast Strikes $45B Deal for TWC and Comcast Launches Cloud DVR.)

Then there's the company's most recent acquisition of FreeWheel Media Inc. The online ad-serving company would give Comcast an easy way to monetize its own Web video content if it should choose to launch a YouTube competitor. (See Comcast Spins Wheel for FreeWheel.)

It's also worth noting that Comcast already delivers a significant amount of short-form and long-form video programming through cable set-tops and on the Web that doesn't fall under the category of traditional TV fare. Such Comcast offerings as the Karaoke channel, Sportskool, and the Reelz Channel all start to overlap with the type of content that YouTube now serves up online.

The bottom line is that while Comcast may not have a YouTube competitor in its bag of tricks today, it is well-equipped to package one up and bring it to market if the financials make sense in the future. It all comes down to the company's priorities.

— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading

(11)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
SachinEE
50%
50%
SachinEE,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/23/2014 | 4:20:51 AM
Re : How Comcast Could Take on YouTube
Even if they have all the prerequisites and actually go on to launch such a service, it doesn't make sense that it makes them a direct competitor of Youtube. YouTube has a worldwide and internet based scope in video services. On the other hand, Comcast is a national player. I don't see anything like "Taking on Google".
SachinEE
50%
50%
SachinEE,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/20/2014 | 3:00:05 PM
Re : How Comcast Could Take on YouTube
Comcast may not have any such video service under development right now, but they look like preparing for doing so. Comcast's acquisition of Times Warner Cable Inc, FreeWheel Media Inc and launching of cloud service seem to be the necessary tools they are collecting that are required to launch a Youtube like service.
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
3/12/2014 | 11:45:32 PM
Re: Does YouTube really have a big network effect?
I'll go further: Why should Comcast create a new video network of any kind, rather than invest in or buying one?
DOShea
50%
50%
DOShea,
User Rank: Blogger
3/12/2014 | 10:44:15 PM
Re: Does YouTube really have a big network effect?
Agree, why would Comcast want to do this, unless the point is not to beat YouTube at its own game, but to appeal to people not using YouTube much or at all who have Internet and TV and maybe even voice through Comcast. A clip site for customers of the biggest cable TV and biggest broadband provider is not exactly small potatoes.
smkinoshita
50%
50%
smkinoshita,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/11/2014 | 9:05:29 PM
Re: Does YouTube really have a big network effect?
@Mitch:  More importantly, why would Comcast want to even create a YouTube network?  YouTube took quite awhile to really begin to find itself and Google still can't leave the interface alone for more than a couple of months.  

Is there really any room or point to compete?  I don't think much of YouTube's revenue model, and there's not much room for other kinds of video product considering Hulu and Netflix are quite established.  Plus there's sites like Vimeo, Blip and more, nevermind Twitch.

While Comcast could create a YouTube network, unless they have a unique purpose I can't imagine why they'd want to even try for the life of me.

 
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
3/11/2014 | 8:46:47 PM
Re: Does YouTube really have a big network effect?
Why would anyone want to upload content to an imitation YouTube instead of YouTube?
Ariella
50%
50%
Ariella,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/11/2014 | 6:29:27 PM
Re: Does YouTube really have a big network effect?
@mhhf1ve I don't know if there is any functional advantage, but YouTube does have the advantage of name recognition and a lot of devices coming preloaded with an app for it.
mhhf1ve
50%
50%
mhhf1ve,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/11/2014 | 3:26:14 PM
Does YouTube really have a big network effect?
Sure, lots of ppl use YouTube to upload random viral videos... but is it really that hard for users to switch to some other video clip service? The biggest hurdle I can think of is that every YouTube-wannabe I've ever seen had a much worse user experience with lots of dropped frames or annoying load times for its videos. Youtube works REALLY hard to make sure it minimizes the spinning "loading gif" symbol.

 
thebulk
50%
50%
thebulk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/11/2014 | 2:40:22 PM
Re: sure, but not really
@kq4ym, 

The only market I think they might even be able to get on board are non tech savey who might not use the internet frequently. Believe it or not there are a good amount, of all ages, though the number is shrinking. 

But I agree, that it will be hard to make finacial sense for such a product offering. 
kq4ym
50%
50%
kq4ym,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/11/2014 | 2:27:03 PM
Re: sure, but not really
Comcast is most likely lobbing a trial balloon with any rumors to take on YouTube. YouTube is so far ahead of the game, that unless there's something truly unique to program (and YouTube couldn't copy it) there's not going to be a short-form video form that would make any finacial sense for some time to come.
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
More Blogs from Column
There are three important questions service providers need to address for in-market and out-of-market expansion.
Cablevision's new Freewheel WiFi service will offer 'unlimited data, talk and text' plus access to Cablevision hotspots for a smallish monthly fee, but is hotspot access worth the price?
Space Division Multiplexing (SDM) technologies could help relieve future bottlenecks in communications networks.
Small cells with advanced C-RAN capabilities create a new opportunity to meet wireless demand more economically and deliver the best possible user experience to subscribers.
To get real customer visibility and to consistently deliver a higher quality experience, MNOs must have access to real-time location awareness.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Dr. Dong Sun Talks About Carriers' Digital Transformation & Huawei’s Telco OS

1|29|15   |   6:28   |   (0) comments


Dr. Dong Sun, Chief Architect of Digital Transformation Solutions at Huawei, discusses how telecom operators can become digital ecosystem enablers and deliver optimal user experiences that are in real-time, on-demand, all-online, DIY and social (ROADS).
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Chief Network Architect Talks about Network Experience & Operators’ Strategies

1|29|15   |   3:39   |   (0) comments


In the digital age, network experience has become the primary productivity especially for telecom operators. In this video, Wenshuan Dang, Huawei’s Chief Network Architect, discusses how carriers can tackle the challenge of infrastructure complexity in order to enhance business agility and improve user experience.
LRTV Documentaries
The Rise of Virtual CPE

1|27|15   |   01:38   |   (4) comments


As NFV strategies evolve from tests and trials to production telco networks, expect to hear a lot about virtual CPE (customer premises equipment) rollouts during 2015.
LRTV Documentaries
Optical Is Hot in 2015

1|23|15   |   01:56   |   (2) comments


Optical comms technology underpins the whole communications sector and there are some really hot trends set for 2015.
LRTV Custom TV
Policy Control in the Fast Lane

1|22|15   |   2:57   |   (0) comments


What's making policy control strategic in 2015 and beyond? Amdocs talks with Heavy Reading's Graham Finnie about the key factors driving change in the data services landscape. Find out what his policy management research reveals about the road ahead for policy control – and sign up for
LRTV Documentaries
Highlights From the 2020 Vision Executive Summit

1|21|15   |   4:33   |   (2) comments


In December 2014, Light Reading brought together telecom executives in Reykjavik, Iceland to discuss their vision for high-capacity networks through the end of the decade. The intimate, interactive meeting was set against the backdrop of Iceland's spectacular natural beauty. As one of the event's founding sponsors, Cisco's Doug Webster shared his company's ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Pay-TV Partner Harmonic, Helping Carriers Accelerate 4K Video Deployment with Huawei

1|20|15   |   5:42   |   (1) comment


At IBC, Peter Alexander, Senior Vice President & CMO at Harmonic, speaks about the growing interest in pay-TV service and its branching into multiple devices.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Sony Marketing Director Olivier Bovis Discusses the Outlook for 4K and Cooperation With Huawei at IBC 2014

1|20|15   |   6:50   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Olivier Bovis, Marketing Director of Sony, speaks about the coming of the 4K era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Pay-TV Partner Envivio, Helping Carriers Accelerate 4K Video Deployment

1|20|15   |   2:57   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Olivier Bovis, Marketing Director of Sony, speaks about the coming of the 4K era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Pay-TV's Networked Future

1|20|15   |   6:29   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Jeff Heynen, Principal Analyst at Infonetics, speaks about the future of the pay-TV industry and its transition.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Jeff Heynen: Distributed Access Will Help MSOs Compete in the Future

1|20|15   |   2:26   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Jeff Heynen, Principal Analyst at Infonetics, speaks about moving to distributed access and the future trend of cable business.
LRTV Interviews
Cisco Talks Transformation

1|20|15   |   13:02   |   (0) comments


In December 2014, Steve Saunders sat down with Cisco VP of Products & Solutions Marketing Doug Webster at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Reykjavik, Iceland. They spoke about Cisco's approach to network virtualization as well as how service providers can begin to monetize high-capacity networks through the end of the decade.
Upcoming Live Events
February 5, 2015, Washington, DC
February 19, 2015, The Fairmont San Jose, San Jose, CA
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 9-10, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2-3, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
Infographics
Hot Topics
Google Continues Gigabit Expansion
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 1/27/2015
Cablevision's New WiFi Try – Freewheeling Enough?
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 1/26/2015
Overture Builds on NFV Foundation
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 1/27/2015
Comcast Apologizes to 'A**hole' Brown
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 1/29/2015
NTT DoCoMo Takes on Retail Broadband
Robert Clark, 1/29/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Weekly Executive Interview
Join us live for Light Reading's interview with Jay Samit, the newly appointed CEO of publicly traded SeaChange International Inc. With a resume that includes Sony, EMI, and Universal, Samit brings a reputation as an entrepreneur and a disruptor to his new role at the video solutions company. Hear what he has to say about the opportunities in video, as well as the outlook for cable, telco, OTT and mobile service providers.