For years, over-the-top (OTT) content providers have had a major advantage over pay TV operators: They offer flexible, no strings attached monthly video packages. Customers can start or cancel OTT services at any time without having to pay early termination fees or negotiate with customer service departments.
Now, the pay TV industry is striking back with an exciting solution: prepaid cable.
This summer, Comcast released a groundbreaking new pay TV service called Xfinity Prepaid. To use this service, customers must pay a fee of $80. But then, customers can renew their service as they please. Customers can purchase seven-day blocks of video for just $15, or 30-day refills for $45.
Comcast is also offering Xfinity Prepaid for Internet service.
Xfinity Prepaid is now available in select locations. If Xfinity Prepaid is successful, it’s safe to assume that Comcast will expand this offering to major markets.
This is a noteworthy shift for the cable industry. Comcast deserves praise for devising an innovative way to provide customers with the flexibility that they seek from OTT content services, along with the variety and consistency they want from traditional pay TV.
It’s also a great solution for financially-conscious customers who seek a traditional television experience, but do not want to risk a long term contract. As CED recently pointed out, almost 10 million U.S. households are unbanked. About 25 million are underbanked.
We’re not suggesting that prepaid cable is a great option for every company. This is just an example of how the cable industry is adapting to meet the changing demands of its customers. And for Comcast, it’s a low-risk that comes with the potential for a high reward.