Comcast's (Nasdaq: CMCSA) development of a Skype video chat appliction seems to represent a turning point for the cable TV company, if a Sunday story in the Philadelphia Inquirer is any indication. The story is shaped partly as a profile of Neil Smit, president of Comcast's cable TV division, but also takes a broader look at how the product development and marketing culture at the cable giant is being infused with new energy.
Smit says he actually has a goal for the company to launch a new product every quarter, which is not the kind of innovation schedule cable TV companies--or their telco competitors, for that matter--have ever committed to publicly.
The Skype launch appears to be the first demonstration of what a newly invigorated Comcast is capable of, but don't let your expectation of urgency run wild just yet. Though a video demonstration of the app briefly went public recently, Comcast will have the Skype app in only a couple of markets this year before it goes wide in 2012. So far, it hasn't said which markets will be the lucky ones.
- here's the Philadelphia Inquirer story
Comcast recently gave a sneak-peek at a Skype demo
Comcast annunced its Skype plans at The Cable Show