Viacom and CBS align for battle in the streaming wars
Viacom and CBS announced their merger, providing a combined network with a vast content library, similar to NBC’s merger with Universal in 2004 and acquisition by Comcast in 2011. This will strengthen CBS’ streaming service, as the combined company owns 140,000 TV episodes, 36,000 films and 750 series. ViacomCBS is now in a better position to challenge Disney, Netflix, AT&T and Comcast in the streaming wars. CNBC
dis-rup-shun: A bit like GOT itself, the seven kingdoms are aligning to have a seat at the throne of your smart TV. A streaming service, be it from a cable network (Comcast), an over the top service (Netflix) or from a studio (Hulu) is mere commodity without unique content. To compete, you must purchase or create a production studio and build a library of popular content. Netflix changed the world by offering a new format (anytime TV) at a new price point. Others followed but found it hard to differentiate. Content differentiates, and now when cord cutters drop their pay TV subscriptions with AT&T or Comcast, there is a good chance they will subscribe to a streaming service partially owned by AT&T, Comcast, CBS, Disney, etc. Realignment of subscribers beats total loss of subscribers any day.
Nest accounts become Google on August 31st
Customer backlash prevented Google from cancelling support for third party devices that controlled Nest devices (through Works with Nest programs). On August 31st, only security support for Nest accounts will be provided, meaning that Nest accounts will work, but won’t receive any feature enhancements. But if you control a Nest device, like a camera or thermostat from a 3rd party app, don’t migrate to a Google account, as you will lose the ability to control your Nest devices from apps provided by third parties. CNet
dis-rup-shun: Confused? Nest is increasing its control of data created through the use of its devices, and is providing incentives for its customers to control home devices through its Google Home smart speaker devices. It is doing so, in part, by discouraging use of third party devices. This is a risky strategy for a number of reasons: 1) the smart home is way too big and diverse for a single vendor to dominate, and if one were to dominate, it would likely be an Apple or Samsung, who provide many more devices than Google/Nest; 2) Nest thermostats and cameras are strong selling standalone products, but if they don’t work (well) with other devices and hubs, there are many good alternatives and this move will ultimately hurt sales of Google/Nest products.
A side by side look at home Internet and Wi-Fi services
The largest Wi-Fi providers, by market share, are Comcast, Charter Spectrum, AT&T, Verizon and Cox Communications. When selecting a provider, be aware of hidden fees such as modem rental fees, data overage fees, installation fees, and early termination fees.
ISPS: 100 – 150MBPS PLANS COMPARED
|Comcast Xfinity||Charter Spectrum||AT&T Fiber||Verizon Fios||Cox Communications|
|Max download speed||150Mbps||3 – 300Mbps (same price for all plans in this range)||100Mbps||100Mbps||150Mbps|
|Max upload speed||10Mbps||1 – 20Mbps (same price for all plans in this range)||100Mbps||100Mbps||10Mpbs|
|Data allowance||1TB, then $10 / 50GB||Unlimited||1TB, then $10 / 50GB||Unlimited||1TB, then $10 / 50GB|
|Installation costs||Up to $60||Up to $140||Up to $99||Up to $99||Up to $75|
|Promotional price||$50 / month||$45 / month||$50 / month||$40 / month||$60 / month|
|Promotional period||12 months||12 months||12 months||12 months||12 months|
|Price after promotion||$80 / month||$66 / month||$60 / month||$55 / month||$88 / month|
|Modem/router fee||$13 / month||$5 / month||$0||$12 / month||$11 / month|
|Early termination fee||Up to $120||None||Up to $180||None||Up to $120|
dis-rup-shun: Differences between services are subtle, unless you live in a household that watches many movies everyday, are running a compute intensive home-based business, or unless you are an online game player and every Mbps counts. Bundles with other services, like pay TV (unless you have already cut the cord), or streaming subscriptions thrown in for free, may be the biggest difference makers in your choice for next generation broadband service at home.