Content is all the rage in the operator world, but it seems CenturyLink couldn’t cut the mustard as it bins its streaming service during the Beta test stages.
An official announcement is yet to squirm out of the PR room just yet, but the website states the service is ending. Those who are currently subscribed to the service will be able to enjoy the content until their subscription ends, but this idea is now dead in the water.
While we might frown upon such a failure, you have to give the CenturyLink execs some credit. They tried an idea, it didn’t work and now they have cut their losses. No point sending good money after bad when there are other ways to improve the business. It shows at least a basic level of maturity.
The service itself was launched as a beta test mid-2017, offering 48 channels of live TV and the option to rent movies for $45 a month. The subscription also granted access to a cloud DVR which was capable of holding up to 50 hours of content. The team had been playing around in this space for a while prior to the launch, but unfortunately the ambitions of muscling into a pretty crowded content space did not pan out.
This is not the first casualty in the content war, and it certainly will not be the last. Cord-cutters are becoming increasingly common and considering the number of streaming services which are in the market right now you have to wonder how much money there is to be made. We foresee there being a bit of consolidation in the space over the coming months and years as it is starting to look like only the major players are going to reap the rewards of the content euphoria.
For telcos it could be used as a value add service, though unless you spend big on content and experience there is a risk of the platform damaging the brand. How much money to spend on a value add proposition is a tricky question, but it seems the benefits simply did not outweigh the cost here.
Perhaps someone from BT should get on the phone with the CenturyLink bods for a frank and honest discussion. Considering the money the British telco is spending on content, and the limited success it has had to date, maybe it just needs some reassurance that backing out is not the end of the world. Some might be questioning how long BT can continue to throw money at sport when the subscription numbers are simply not backing up the expensive foray.