Death of Net Neutrality Is Not Necessarily a Good Thing for ISPs

New Market Strategies study reveals consumer attitudes on “fast” and “slow” lanes   

Many industries are closely watching the future of net neutrality. Just last month, the Senate voted to preserve net neutrality, blocking a Federal Communications Commission plan to undo rules set during the Obama era. But short of any eleventh-hour political victories, net neutrality is set to end on June 11.

Industries such as telecommunications, technology and media have a stake in this issue. One of the more contentious aspects of net neutrality is what experts call “fast lanes” and “slow lanes.” Without net neutrality regulations, internet service providers (ISPs) could give certain content and streaming services faster connections, while slowing down other sites. It’s so controversial that even our own in-house telecom experts couldn’t agree on the issue.

While the future of net neutrality still hangs in the balance, it’s important for telecoms to understand consumer attitudes and preferences regarding this issue now. To that end, the telecom research division of Market Strategies International conducted a study to explore the potential consequences for both ISPs and streaming services. Our findings provide guidance on next steps for ISPs as politicians and consumers debate the future of net neutrality.

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The Missing Piece in Xbox One’s Big Comeback

With the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) coming up in a few days, the gaming community is eagerly anticipating what companies have in store. This year, many eyes will be on Microsoft, who has been secretive on what it plans to reveal. Their shift from the E3 show floor to the Microsoft Theatre at LA Live, just across the LA Convention Center, has heightened the intrigue.

Many people in the gaming community are hopeful that Microsoft’s move to its own space is a sign that the company has big things to share during its E3 press conference. Reading through pre-E3 online commentary, we find a community seeking a refresh of the Xbox brand, which seems to be falling behind in the current generation of game consoles. Reception for its latest console, Xbox One X, is tepid, even if it has the most powerful technical specifications.

So far, Sony’s PS4 has outsold Xbox One two-to-one.

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Xfinity Mobile’s Surprising Impact on the Cable Industry

Consumers now see Comcast as a major Quad Play provider, new data shows  

Editor’s Note: This is the final installment of a three-part blog series based on a new, independent research study called “The Xfinity Mobile Effect.” As Comcast marks the one-year anniversary of its Xfinity Mobile launch, this series explores the success and competitive threat of cable companies offering wireless service. This research was featured on Fierce Wireless.

Since the arrival of the so-called “cord cutters,” many experts have been predicting the decline of the cable industry. But rather than back down, many cable MSOs have fought back not just through technological innovation, but also by expanding their businesses. Today, the cable companies experiencing the biggest growth are those that have some sort of bundling offerings, providing a slew of complementary services to customers.

Indeed, cable companies are in a race to establish themselves in the Quad Play business. The ability to provide TV, wireless, broadband and phone services has become a competitive advantage in a world where consumers are increasingly seeking out better deals and the convenience of doing business with just one company.

The latest company to enter Quad Play is Comcast, and the plan appears to be working so far. A new study conducted by the technology and telecom market research division of Market Strategies International shows compelling evidence that with the launch of Xfinity Mobile, Comcast has set itself as a viable Quad Play competitor.

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The Quad Play Imperative

Success of Comcast’s Xfinity Mobile has potentially big repercussions in telecom, new research shows  

Editor’s Note: This is the second installment of a three-part blog series based on a new, independent research study called “The Xfinity Mobile Effect.” As Comcast marks the one-year anniversary of its Xfinity Mobile launch, this series explores the success and competitive threat of cable companies offering wireless service. This research was featured on Fierce Wireless.

Quad Play is becoming a real competitive advantage in the telecom market. With consumers wanting a more seamless experience and a better deal from their TV, wireless, broadband and phone providers, more people are choosing to do business with just one provider. There is a big incentive for telecoms to offer Quad Play options: it increases “stickiness” as customers who subscribe to various services are less likely to churn.

But a viable Quad Play strategy is not easy to pull off. It requires major investments in technology, partnerships and marketing. In fact, very few telecoms have become real Quad Play competitors so far. For a few years now, AT&T and Verizon have been unchallenged in the Quad Play space.

That is, until now.

New, independent research from the technology and telecom market research division of Market Strategies International shows that Comcast is now a viable Quad Play business. The report, which we published this week, shows that with the launch of Xfinity Mobile, Comcast is successfully gaining ground in the Quad Play space.

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Xfinity’s X-Factor

New research from Market Strategies shows Xfinity Mobile’s impressive traction   

Editor’s Note: This is the first installment of the three-part blog series based on a new, independent research study called “The Xfinity Mobile Effect.” As Comcast marks the one-year anniversary of its Xfinity Mobile launch, this series explores the success and competitive threat of cable companies offering wireless service. This research was featured on Fierce Wireless.

When Comcast first introduced the Xfinity brand in 2010, many experts and industry observers questioned the move. Blogs like Gizmodo and the Consumerist and even Time Magazine made fun of the rebrand. One branding expert went as far as calling the initiative “a complete and total waste of time and resources.”

Fast forward to 2018, and these experts couldn’t be any more off. The Xfinity brand is alive and well, with Comcast launching a wireless service under this brand in May 2017. Called Xfinity Mobile, the service uses Comcast’s extensive network of Wi-Fi hotspots and Verizon’s cell network.

In a recent independent study, the technology and telecom market research divisions of Market Strategies International sought to understand how Xfinity Mobile is performing both as a wireless service within a highly competitive market, but also as a tool that enhances Comcast’s core Xfinity Internet and TV businesses. The comprehensive research, which we released this week, reveals the impact Xfinity Mobile is making and provides compelling insight on what’s ahead for wireless providers and multi-system operators (MSOs).

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How two tech companies connected with individual buyers, and what they learned from it

How Cisco and Microsoft connected with individual buyers, and what they learned from itIn the technology industry, software and hardware manufacturers tend to focus on the needs of the companies they sell to. When prospecting an organization, they look at what the organization as a whole needs to move its business forward. The idea: if you understand the functional requirements of an organization, you can align your solution to those needs and convince decision-makers to go with your product.

On the surface, this approach seems rational, but in reality, successful sales to business customers calls for a different approach. Studies show that the needs of the people in the organization play a crucial part in the buying process. For instance, a study conducted by the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business suggests that although many stakeholders are involved in a purchasing decision, the process and decision are often dominated by one person.

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The Internet of Things: A Story of the Haves and Have Nots

The Internet of Things: A story of the Haves and Have Nots A Market Strategies study identifies diverging points of view between two emerging groups of consumers and workers in the IoT market

There’s little doubt that the Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the most exciting and profitable sectors in technology today. IDC is predicting that global spend in IoT will reach a stunning $1.2 trillion by 2020—a figure that represents a compound annual growth rate of 15.6%. A recent Forbes Insights study even found that senior executives now see the IoT as the most important set of emerging technologies.

But the IoT market is also a competitive one. Companies in virtually all industries are now eager to join the IoT gold rush. Thriving in this emerging but lucrative market will require a deeper understanding of what consumers truly need, want and might adopt, whether for use in a personal or work context. Continue reading

Standalone streaming services versus aggregators: Which model will win?

Standalone streaming services versus aggregators: Which model will win?In October 2017, CBS shared that its standalone streaming service, CBS All Access, has seen a record number of new subscribers in a single week. And according to the company, Trekkies are responsible for the bump: the new series “Star Trek Discovery” was a hit among fans, with exclusive access to Discovery for subscribers driving a record-breaking number of signups.

“Consumer response to the launch of ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ has been tremendous,” Marc DeBevoise, president of CBS Interactive, revealed. “The buildup to the show’s premiere led us to a record-setting month, week and ultimately day of sign-ups.”

The show, which was already renewed for a second season, is the latest win for CBS All Access, which has become an unlikely success in the competitive streaming service market. Since its launch in late 2014, the subscription streaming service has expanded to a userbase of more than one million users. The company is now planning on taking CBS All Access global.

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What I Really Want For Christmas Is … Streaming Video that Meets My Needs!

What I Really Want For Christmas Is … Streaming Video that Meets My Needs!With 73% of the population regularly streaming video, consumers are racing to get streaming-capable devices for the holiday season. Not only has it been reported that Amazon accounted for half of all online Black Friday sales, its own Fire TV stick was the second most popular item sold on its site. Likewise, one of the hottest items this season at big-box stores such as Best Buy, Walmart and Target are smart TVs. There is little doubt that today’s consumer has become comfortable with streaming video and is looking for more ways to stream content. Continue reading

What Drives Trust in the Wireless World?

Trust is defined as “to place confidence in, rely on.” Whom do customers trust to provide their wireless service? The importance of this simple question cannot be overstated with wireless carriers facing the stiffest competition in decades. And the field is increasingly more crowded as cable powerhouses like Comcast and Charter join the fray. With more than 90% of US households having cell phones and more than 50% being wireless only (a figure that is growing daily), few industries have such a massive, growing addressable market. And they all face one cold, hard truth: Failing to gain the trust of their customers could be a multi-billion dollar mistake.

That’s why we focused on brand trust in our latest consumer omnibus study. We looked at not only the traditional wireless providers but also other potential entrants, including cable and technology companies, to find out who could disrupt the usual suspects. And, even more importantly, through our technology industry research we explore whether it’s even a wise business move for the likes of Microsoft, Amazon and Apple to throw their hats into the wireless ring. Continue reading