Charter Communications has become the latest top U.S. pay-TV operator to integrate Netflix into its user interface, and the MSO has plans to embed other leading online video services in the coming months.
“Netflix is being integrated into our user interface and we plan to launch it,” said Charter Chairman and CEO Tom Rutledge, speaking to investment analysts Tuesday during the cable company’s first-quarter earnings call.
“We’ve had similar discussions with YouTube. Our view is that the user interface that we're deploying across our footprint will allow a seamless integration of content,” Rutledge added. “Fundamentally, we expect customers to subscribe to services like Netflix, Hulu and other over the top products in combination with our MVPD products and maybe over the top products that we also provide.”
Rutledge didn’t offer a timeline as to when Netflix would show up in Charter’s user interface, called Spectrum Guide. The announcement of the integration comes nearly a year after Comcast trumpeted a similar deal with Netflix, putting the SVOD platform into its X1 video interface.
Just as Comcast did, Rutledge described Charter as wanting to provide customers the best overall video experience rather than tightly guarding proprietary concerns.
“We think having a common user interface that allows that to work on all the devices in the house makes a lot of sense,” he said. “Our fundamental obligation to our customer is to make that customer's life easy in terms of using video. And so, when we look at our whole relationship to content and the customer, we come out toward the customer side of the equation, meaning, while we'd love to creative new content, we'd even more love to have happy subscribers who have access to all the content that they can get. And that's what our user interface is designed to do.”