There’s still some debate about whether people are “cutting the cord”, but Time Warner Cable felt it super hard and real this quarter when they announced a welcome batch of 143,000 new high-speed internet customers (which was below expectations) and the subtraction of 118,000 video customers (which was greater than expectations). Their response? “We’re stepping up our retention game.”
People rag on cable companies all the time, most notably because their oligarchy status allows them to maintain a lock on an entire area without needing to be super competitive outside of minor pricing spats. Oh, the TelCo is providing similar internet for $5 less a month? Here’s another annual discount, I’m sure you’ll back in eleven months for another one. Retention is important for any company, but when your big strategy is merely to retain customers, something’s wrong. With Google Fiber sneaking out to more and more towns nationwide, Time Warner Cable’s offerings look crude and overpriced. Sure, they’ll claim the baked-in value of ancillary services they’ve built over the years, like Look Back and Start Over, but those video advantages are meaning far less as people are unsubscribing from video altogether. That’s not to mention their primitive coaxial last-mile solution is pretty small potatoes compared to what gigabit ethernet over optical can offer people.