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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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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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

The #1 Brand Health Metric That Social Media Must Own to Win

Many organizations struggle to choose the research approach that best understands and tracks their brand’s health and market position. Last year, the technology market research division at Market Strategies shared its thoughts on NPS and multi-measure approaches as a broader alternative. We fielded questions about social media brands that resulted in a US-based Brand Health Index (BHI), which drew from measures of satisfaction, positive brand sentiment and a brand’s strength at connecting consumers to others.

Fast forward one year to our 2017 Brand Health Study: Do we continue to see value in our BHI when measuring and evaluating brands in the social media space? And can we determine what’s driving a particular brand’s health and momentum (or lack thereof)? Let’s take a look to see how the brands stack up.

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How Much SHOULD the iPhone X Cost?  

Market Strategies Releases Exclusive Price Point Analysis   

It’s September, which means the unofficial end of summer, football, a new school year…and a new iPhone release! But this year—the 10th anniversary of the iPhone—Apple is breaking the mold. Why?

  • As contracts have become virtually extinct, consumers are keeping their phones longer, creating a lengthier upgrade cycle. Apple needs to provide a more compelling reason to buy their product than simply, “it’s that time of year again.”
  • Apple has been criticized by some as losing its innovation edge by offering only minimal advancements. This new iPhone X model not only promises to create a new “premium” smartphone but also breaks up Apple’s typical two-year full upgrade cycle.

So, what is new and different about this phone that makes it so special?

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Broken Guitars and Broken Promises

How Customer Service is Being Transformed by the Growth of Mobile Messaging   

The world watched in astonishment a few weeks ago as a video surfaced of a United Airlines passenger being physically dragged from a plane after he refused to give up his seat on an over-booked flight. The airline’s initial response was almost as catastrophic a PR disaster as the actual event, going into detail on the policies and procedures, but showing none of the human compassion that all of us would expect from a brand that purports to care about its customers.

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