Here's an interesting tidbit I came across today. Charter Communications is encouraging its users to watch online video by creating a new searchable directory of online video content. Hopefully, this doesn't mean that they will later then charge for video separately, you know the old give 'em a taste, get 'em hooked, charge an arm and a leg bit. I've never dealt with Charter personally so I'm not saying that is how they operate, I'm just wary of the cable operators these days, put on the tinfoil hats and follow me!
Charter's New Online Video Directory
The new online video directory over at Charter.net will include online content from Netflix, Amazon Instant Video and Hulu. It really does seem like they are trying to distance themselves from the other MSOs and say, "Yes! By all means, watch video online!" Check out this quote from the press release today.
Leveraging its robust broadband network, Charter is in a unique position to provide additional value through a comprehensive search and discovery experience, including entitled cable content and over the top content, not available from any other multichannel video programming distributor.
They also state that they'll be expanding this to tablets and mobile phones soon as well which is very forward thinking on their part, bravo Charter.
It almost sound exactly like the new Google TV option where you can search for content once and it will scour multiple sources for it. Check this out.
Pointers to content offered by Netflix, Amazon Instant Video and Hulu will be integrated with links to content already available on Charter.net through a unified search and discovery experience. Customers will have the ability to search the full library of content available from a variety of distributors, and choose the source of the content with just a few quick clicks.
"Consumers are watching streaming video from a variety of content providers on multiple devices at an increasing rate," said Rich DiGeronimo, Charter's Senior Vice President, Product and Strategy. "Charter is embracing this change in landscape, and making the search and discovery for all types of content easier and more convenient for consumers by integrating content from numerous sources into a single online directory. We're starting by expanding our online functionality, but this is just the beginning of our aspiration to deliver the best customer experience with all video content on all devices, everywhere our customers go – over the most robust network."
While searching for the content is free, you'll need to maintain an account to get some of the content from those sources that have subscription or pay-to-view formats.
This is an expansion of the content that was already available through Charter.net from other premium and sports content providers. It all sounds so avante garde coming from an MSO but it makes me think there might still be hope, that is, unless it's a ploy. They certainly seem sincere in the gesture and seem to have a grip on online video and what the users want. Unfortunately, I'm locked into the middle of a monopoly as only Time Warner Cable is available in my area. But if you're in a Charter area, you might end up being one of the lucky ones!