Netflix, one of the top sites for streaming movies and television shows, just announced a deal with the cable giant Comcast. This deal essentially allows Netflix to pay Comcast to use their bandwidth to stream content to the consumer at a faster rate. At first glance, this deal seems harmless.
Let’s take a step back and analyze this whole ordeal.
Typically this would not be something earth shattering, however since it’s the first deal of its kind, many people are still skeptical. This is definitely impactful in the ISP industry and could pave the way for more companies to follow. However, only the larger companies with more money at their disposal may be able to make these deals, thus turning them into the powerhouses of the industry.
Normally companies that streamed content like Netflix is usually accessed through a consumer’s ISP. Right now, Netflix can be viewed on a computer, smart phone, video game console, blue ray player, or a TV that has content built into the menu such as Samsung’s Smart TV. The connectivity is solely dependent upon the bandwidth provided by the ISP. If your connection is slow or if any other connectivity issues interfere between the ISP and your home, streaming your content will suffer leading to a horrible viewing experience.
Enter the Netflix Comcast deal. Instead of just being the typical streaming content site, they are choosing to get ahead of the curve and utilize the ISP directly. By joining Comcast, Netflix will now be able to utilize Comcast’s infrastructure by delivering their content straight to the user in a fast and reliable manner. Going forward, connection speed shouldn’t be an issue for Netflix users.
One minor issue with this deal is the net neutrality principal. This basically means that ISPs may not discriminate between content and or applications online. This theory is supposed to help maintain a level playing field for all things Internet. This deal potentially walks that fine line, but since this is fairly new most critics are still taking their sweet time to sorting out everything.
Every potential deal has negatives to go along with the positives. One negative that can be foreseen is Netflix users could essentially pay more for their service in the long run. Whenever speed is a factor, many companies use this as a major selling point to the average customer. After all, we are always looking for faster ways to retrieve our content, hence the faster is always better motto. If the consumer is able to receive streamed content in a reliable and quick manner, he or she will have a better viewing experience, ultimately justifying the cost.
Since this deal is still being finalized and the logistics of how this technology will be rolled out, it is safe to say that this is definitely a game changer for TV programming. Will more cable companies and 3rd party streaming sites join forces and follow suit? Only time can tell, but for now we will be keeping a close watch at this deal as it matures.