Charter open to being a ‘supermarket of video services’

Apple TV
Earlier this month, Charter launched its Spectrum app on Apple TV, allowing Spectrum customers to access pay TV service on the device. (Apple TV)

After finally launching its Spectrum app on Apple TV earlier this month, Charter is looking to branch out its service and device availability even further while maintaining traditional elements of its video service.

Charter CEO Tom Rutledge said his company still sees a lot of consistency in its video business in terms of how bundled packages remain the primary services that Charter offers.

“I think we embrace where the marketplace is going and we want people to be able to use video services on our network. We think there are ways for us to be in the connected video business in a way that continues to provide incremental margins for us,” Rutledge said.

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He said mix of direct-to-consumer services and bring-your-own-device options in the video space will change over time and that Charter’s going to allow it to change as the market dictates.

“We’re going to try to make our products work best on every device that we provide,” Rutledge said. He added that Charter still sees significant opportunities to provide CPE devices to consumers and to bring all of their services together in a consistent way.

“We’re open to being a supermarket of video services, however those services develop,” said Rutledge. “We think we can run our traditional models and new models simultaneously.”

RELATED: Charter loses 36,000 video subscribers, but revenue grows due to rate hikes, promos ending

Earlier this month, Charter launched its Spectrum app on Apple TV, allowing Spectrum customers to access pay TV service on the device along with voice search and commands powered by Siri.

At the same time, Charter said that its new and existing Spectrum TV and broadband subscribers can add the Apple TV 4K device to their existing accounts for $7.50 per month for 24 months. The device is also available from Charter for $179.

The app also offers a zero sign-on feature, meaning Spectrum subscribers won’t have to enter their credentials to use the app as long as they access it via their Charter broadband service.

Rutledge also offered an update on the rollout of the updated Spectrum Guide, which he said is occurring incrementally due to the somewhat incompatible nature of Charter, Time Warner Cable and Bright House network architectures and CPE.

“We’re now rolling it out pretty much everywhere and it is a significant improvement,” said Rutledge. He said that Charter has also put the new guide on its apps.

Rutledge said the new consumer experience offered by the updated Spectrum Guide will add to his company’s ability sell bundled, streaming and a la carte packages in a “coherent” and “consumer-friendly” way across all devices in the home including mobile devices.

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