High Speed Access Now is the Anchor Product for Cable TV Operators

At the end of 2014, the largest U.S. cable TV operators had about 52 million high speed access accounts in service. At the end of 2014, those same firms had some 49 million linear video customers.

In its first quarter of 2015, Comcast Internet access revenues grew 10.7 percent while business services grew 21.4 percent.

Year over year, Comcast gained 407,000 high speed Internet access customers and 77,000 voice customers and lost 8,000 video customers.

In other words, not only does the “new” Internet access business represent more customers, it also is the fastest-growing consumer service. Video subscribers actually are shrinking.

That does not mean linear video is unimportant. it remains vital, as many legacy services continue to drive the bulk of gross revenues even when in decline.

On the other hand, predictions that high speed access will become the foundation service for any fixed network operator clearly are supported by those trends within the broader industry and specifically at Comcast.

Providing Internet service providers are able to tie consumption and revenue in some relatively direct relationship, services sold to people, and based on “dumb pipe” access, will continue to grow, as a percentage of total fixed network service provider revenue.

But bundles will remain important for quite some time, because they increase perceived value, because they reduce churn and prop up average revenue per account.

About 37 percent of Comcast customers bought triple-play service. A third bought double-play services while 31 percent purchased only a single service from Comcast. In other words, about 70 percent of Comcast consumer accounts purchased a multi-service package.

About 70 percent of net product additions in the first quarter of 2015 were dual-play packages (two services), while Comcast lost about five percent net single-product accounts. Comcast had triple-play net gains of about 35 percent.
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