Comcast has a new video streaming service called Streampix that allows users to watch old movies and TV shows on demand.
The general consensuses on the web is that the service will become a direct competitor to Netflix, and Boston.com even went so far as to blame the Comcast announcement for a drop in Netflix’s stock price.
The Streampix service will be free to anyone who already subscribes to Comcast’s Xfinity premium service. For other Comcast subscribers, it can be accessed for only $4.99 a month, which is cheaper than Netflix’s base price of $7.99 a month.
Sure sounds like Comcast is out to take Netflix down, but the reality is, the cable company is simply trying to stay competitive in a rapidly changing media world.
Comcast’s biggest rivals are the satellite companies who are always trying to woo TV viewers away with more channels at a better price. Add to that the proliferation of TV shows and movies available on the web and on mobile devices and it’s easy to see why cable operators don’t sleep well at night.
So Comcast is doing what lots of companies are doing, finding a way to use what they have to create a better customer experience. In this case, Comcast has access to thousands of hours of NBCUniversal productions (Comcast has a controlling interest in the company) along with some programming from Disney, Warner Brothers and Sony.
By making these older titles available for streaming, Comcast pulls in the die-hard TV fans who would rather watch old Heroes episodes than new episodes of American Idol. They also capture the TV Everywhere people who don’t sit down to watch prime time TV at prime time.
The way we consume media is changing and everyone in the business has to find a way to catch up and stay relevant if they want to stay in business. So do we all.
It’s not enough to keep doing what you’re doing. The phrase, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” doesn’t apply. You have to think about the future. You have to think about how your customers are changing. Are they on the go more? Then mobile should be your first priority. Are they getting older? Then changes in products and styles. Really older? Maybe you need to pump up the text size on your website.
Look at what you have and brainstorm new ways to provide what your customers need. A small change can deliver big results.