Optical/IP Networks

NAB Anecdotes: Day 1

3:40 PM -- LAS VEGAS -- After a day of hobnobbing with content owners, content aggregators, content delivery network (CDN) execs, and a couple of telco programming guys, here are a few of the things I've learned in the first 24 hours of the NAB Show.

  • If you're a telco getting into the IPTV business and looking to acquire content, "never, ever sign the first contract that comes your way." So says AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) EVP of programming Dan York, who's got some experience in signing up new content.
  • What's the best way to acquire new IPTV customers? Surprisingly enough, it might be going door-to-door. Both AT&T's York and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) VP of programming and marketing Terry Denson say their companies have had good success getting people to sign up using what many may think is an antiquated model of getting the word out. And this marketing talk is backed up by anecdotal evidence: In a totally unrelated interview with Veoh Networks Inc. CEO Dmitry Shapiro, he says he made the switch from Time Warner Cable because someone from AT&T knocked on his door and told him he could save $100 by switching.
  • More tidbits from Dmitry: In a meeting last year with Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) in which he gave a presentation portraying his online video aggregation company as "the Comcast of the future," one of the cable executives in the room was kind enough to inform him that Comcast also wanted to be "the Comcast of the future."
  • One thing I learned from Baylor interns that were invited to join panelists on stage during the "Social Networking and the Democratization of Broadcasting" session -- everyone is on Facebook, and all the time. One student claimed to check Facebook every five minutes, all day long. Another said he opens his social networking page (along with his email) first thing in the morning while he brushes his teeth.
  • Forrester Research Inc. analyst Josh Bernoff is a fear-monger. And I quote: "I'm an analyst -- I like fear because people call me up and say, 'Help me!' "
  • And finally -- large, public companies in the content delivery market are much more tight-lipped about gossip in the space than are their startup brethren. Which is understandable, but also kind of a bummer.

— Ryan Lawler, Reporter, Light Reading

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