Netflix Comcast Deal

I love Netflix.

It’s a great service and has reinvented the way we all consume video and TV content.

I love it for another reason.

I bought Netflix stock at $218 and it closed over $447 dollars a share yesterday.

But it’s a love/hate relationship.

I never cared for Netflix CEO Reed Hastings who tried to ram Internet service down the throats of snail mail customers a few years back.  It spoke volumes about Hastings.  He almost derailed a good thing.

Netflix arguably invented binge watching and getting into content creation has been a good decision.

Some 30% of all Internet traffic on both TV and computers comes from Netflix and Netflix with Google represent 50% of all U.S. Internet traffic.

Hastings has done what a lot of other greedy capitalists are doing lately – covering his ass at the expense of the industry that made him what he is.

Netflix did a deal with an empire more evil than even Clear Channel, Comcast, to guarantee no slow or pixilated streaming problems over Comcast and soon the monopoly it is acquiring, Time Warner Cable.

Netflix will apparently pay millions a year to Comcast for a multi-year agreement to become the poster child for doing in net neutrality.

That means Netflix will also have to pay Verizon and AT&T the same protection money.

Somehow this all sounds like the mafia to me.

Favoritism at a cost by sacrificing the very medium Netflix has pioneered.

I have heard stories that Netflix movies were getting pixilated on FiOS, the fast Verizon alternative to Comcast.

It’s like having your restaurant storefront window broken by the mob to get you use to their waste management “service”.

These guys play dirty.

My New Jersey home is in Moorestown, a South Jersey suburb of Philadelphia.  Verizon’s superior fiber optic FiOS is service is already in surrounding communities but not in Moorestown nor is it going to be in the near future because Comcast execs happen to live in Moorestown.  Wait until I give them an earful when I run into one of them at the Moorestown hardware store.

It’s always about gaining unfair advantage.

That’s why we can’t get beyond regulators because left to themselves you have Netflix and Comcast, Clear Channel and the other consolidators being given a free pass to monopoly by Congress and the FCC.

The FCC is going to take another bite of the apple called net neutrality by rewriting the regulations now that the courts struck the previous iteration down.

And so the greedy bastards are at it.

There will be another Netflix that comes along that will better and Hastings is quite capable of screwing up again.

If consumers think, good for Netflix – now I won’t have any streaming problems with my House of Cards binge watching session, think again.

Consumers are the ones who are going to pay for it.

Watch Netflix raise their monthly rate.

Watch Comcast increase their cable bill.  What?  You thought that was going down?

All of this to remind radio owners and executives how lucky they are to be broadcasting on free airwaves.  It doesn’t always sound like a good deal in the digital age, but that could change once these media barons ruin the digital landscape, as they will do.

Some day, if we put much better programming on the air, free radio may reengage an audience it lost to digital competitors.

Audiences want radio to innovate again.

Admit it, what passes for radio on most stations is not as good as radio used to be.  It’s a dumbed down, cheaper version across the board.

Last weekend while working on the content for my March 26th Philly conference, it struck me that we are capable of making important adjustments to what we do in broadcasting, digital, video businesses we should start and social media.

We’re going to brainstorm in person to generate ideas to take advantage of a media industry hell bent on shutting out competition, shutting down innovation and leaving audiences to their own devices.

We’ll focus on these critical issues …

  1. Disrupting radio -- Specific ways to disrupt radio and put an end to digital competitors interrupting your station’s revenue stream.  Pandora radio is already killing Clear Channel’s sales in the first quarter of the year in major markets that are off 5% -- ignoring digital competitors will not make this stop.  Disrupt them.
  2. Master digital -- as a second stream of free cash flow alongside a reinvigorated air product.  Even Facebook is changing its bet from mass social networking to smaller, more personalized group connection as witnessed by its recent $19 billion purchase of WhatsApp.  Master solutions to transform both your radio and digital power into something that will attract big money advertisers.
  3. Starting your own social media -- The first step to starting your stations own social media network independent from Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat or whatever else comes next.  A more sure footed way to grow your fan base.
  4. Adapting radio to the digital age -- Solutions to giving younger money demo listeners the radio that they want – a morning show that will take their breath away because no one is currently doing it.  Finally, an answer to how to fill their need for music discovery and your station’s need to gain ratings through repetition of the hits at the same time.  The only contest that will make their dreams come true and it’s not a trip, contest or tickets to a concert.  I’m going to reveal it so you can do it.
  5. Getting into video -- The best route to starting your own radio station video business – one that will not need salespeople to unlock the revenue potential and that will more than make up for any on-air advertising shortfalls you may run into this year.  I’ll play video examples and reveal the winning game plans.
  6. Attracting younger audiences -- From my work as a USC professor in the area of generational media:  the four critical things Millennials expect of media.  This checklist is so valuable, I am using it right here, right now – can you tell?
  7. Solving time shifted radio -- Time shifting is the new broadcasting in an increasingly on-demand world.  It’s not just repurposing your morning show.  It’s grade A content that is irresistible and most in-demand by advertisers.

I sure hope you will join us because this event will not be available by stream or video – only live and in person. 

I can’t wait to share my enthusiasm and knowledge with you in Philly March 26th

Join the radio executives and digital entrepreneurs who have already reserved their seats.

Reserve a seat

Inquire about group rates

The Rittenhouse Hotel where this conference is being held is almost sold out the night before the Philly conference so please mention that you’ve registered for the “Media Solutions Conference”.