The Next Two Revenue Streams

Peter : On Rad's Radar?
| Peter Radizeski of RAD-INFO, Inc. talking telecom, Cloud, VoIP, CLEC, and The Channel.

The Next Two Revenue Streams

AT&T is buying TimeWarner. Verizon bought AOL and is buying Yahoo. Comcast invested $200M in BuzzFeed. AT&T and DISH are "partnering to acquire INVIDI Technologies. Ad agency WPP is also part of the deal, which gives AT&T a controlling interest in the addressable advertising technology firm."

Content and ad money is the only area of growth for the Duopoly.

An analyst is projected that Cable companies will be the Incumbent Phone company in 2017 due to the number of cable phone lines sold compared to telco. The RBOCs have been trying to get out of the incumbent label for years, much to the chagrin of their ILEC brethren like Frontier, Windstream, CenturyLink and Fairpoint, who wish that the RBOCs would shut up.

The RBOCs have cellular, voice, data, broadband, big pipe, managed services, data centers and cloud in the catalog but the cash cow was the consumer triple play. Much like EarthLink and AOL floated on dial-up revenues for years, ILECs float on wireline revenues. Unfortunately, cable is eating their lunch in the broadband market.

Easier to dump a billion or four into a company that will provide some top line revenue than spend $24 billion on fiber to the home, where Verizon lost money.

Telco has pension and union liabilities that cable does not. These liabilities are now mainly under the RLEC umbrella in the form of CenturyLink, Fairpoint and Frontier, who purchased assets from many other ILECs and RBOCs, including the pension liabilities. It is quite the financial burden.

Content is the next revenue stream for the telco, following in the footsteps of cable, who have owned TV stations and content for years.

No idea how the telcos arrived at advertising as a viable revenue stream (maybe they are following Google's model). Yet "AT&T reports $1.5 billion and growing in annual revenue for its AT&T AdWorks division. That unit aggregates 14 million households and 35 million set-top-boxes nationwide, managing ad inventory across national ad-supported cable networks. AT&T claims it's the largest addressable advertising network in the industry, thanks in large part to its acquisition of DIRECTV." [telecomp]

It looks like we will soon be back in the days of AOL and Prodigy, where your ecosystem will be defined by your cell phone operating system (Android or Apple) and cell provider and broadband provider. The cellcos are providing free bandwidth for staying inside the ecosystem, making it tough for companies like DISH/Sling, Netflix and Layer3. Captured users, eyeballs, viewer habits, buying habits, ads, etc. will result in big money per user. It is a similar model that Amazon uses with Prime and Kindle. Users of a Kindle device buy Prime and spend more than 3x what a non-Prime member spends. And we keep it in the ecosystem. Google, Apple, Amazon, AT&T, Verizon and Comcast all competing for you.

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