In business world, in fact in every other situation also, a very important thing to know is what is the business you are in. I saw this interesting article — via Rajesh Jain — from Broadband Directions that suggests that Comcast should buy AOL. It asks a very intersting, but obvious question, what is the business of Comcast.
Changing how Comcast competes requires it to broaden its vision of what business it is in. With all of its cable TV-centric deal-making, Comcast must be wary not to fall into the trap of thinking it is still mainly in the cable TV business. Those days are past. And like the railroads of old which didn’t recognize that they were no longer in the railroad business, but rather in the broader transportation business, Comcast and other MSOs need to recognize that they now compete in a world well beyond cable TV and which is increasingly broadband- centric.
I believe this viewpoint would result in Comcast embracing online media and communications as a key driver of its competitive differentiation. While advanced TV-based services like VOD, HD and DVR are all important in providing more value on the cable TV side (and in competing with DBS), it is more apparent with each passing day that TV is no longer the center of the universe for many consumers, particularly younger ones.
This is a very important shift that is taking place and it appears that many traditional companies are going to be a casualty like in the past.