Comcast: Better 'segmenting' of video consumers has returned the MSO to growth

With Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) reporting its best quarterly video subscriber metrics in nearly a decade Wednesday, one word that came up a lot during the company's earnings call was "segmenting."

In short, as video consumption habits continue to shift, the MSO says it's doing a better job of creating more targeted products to serve more needs. 

"We are segmenting with different offers for different customers," said Neil Smit, president and CEO of Comcast Cable, mentioning the company's assortment of IP-only video products. "On Campus is an example, Internet Plus is an example. Stream is an example of products that we're targeting at a specific segment. So we're giving them the product they want at the right price, and we're retaining, we're servicing them well and retaining them longer."

Added Michael Cavanagh, CFO and executive VP of Comcast: "We are doing a better job segmenting the market, providing offers with more choice and appeal to new audiences that address multiple segments of the market. For example, we have increased our penetration of Hispanic households with targeted bicultural products and offers."

Comcast added 89,000 video subscribers in the fourth quarter, its best quarterly performance in that metric in nine years. For the year, the MSO lost only 36,000 video customers. 

For the fourth quarter, 75 percent of the company's video additions were for high-end traditional bundles. But streaming products like Xfinity Stream -- which is still confined to Boston and Chicago -- and Xfinity on Campus are drawing meaningful customer additions, Comcast officials said.

Even CEO Brian Roberts used the buzzword: "We're segmenting the market better and getting customers to stay longer," he said. "We're innovating with video packaging, whether that's in a streamed or linear fashion."

For more:
- read this Ad Exchanger story
- read this Seeking Alpha transcript

Related articles:
Comcast adds 89K video subs in Q4, best quarter in nine years
Verizon's 20K video sub additions lowest ever as 'telco TV hits brick wall'
TWC's Marcus: IP-only apps already opening set-top options

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