NBC Comcast Streaming Netflix Competitor coming in 2020

Disney+, Hulu, Amazon, Apple and now NBC will be facing off with Netlfix very soon.

Michael K. Spencer
Jan 14 · 3 min read

The future of media is bright, in a world where TV-less video takes up more of our consumption of weekly hours.

Let’s let Netflix have its golden age as a first comer, since in just a few years it will be a different world folks.

In a weird move, NBC has decided to bundle its streaming entry as follows:

  • NBC’s streaming service will be a free, ad-supported product to anyone that subscribes to a pay-TV service. But somewhat awfully, for those that don’t subscribe to pay-TV the service will cost about $12 per month.
  • NBCUniversal will launch its streaming product sometime in 2020.
  • NBC believes it can get about $5 in ad revenue per user with the service. (Ads in streaming, that’s crazy-talk).

Comcast Streaming With Ads?

How can this hold a candle to Disney quality content, and increasing performance by the likes of Hulu and Amazon? A world where even Apple and Facebook will be delivering quality original content? A world where Netflix will be over-spending again, just to keep up. Woeful strategy indeed.

CEO Steve Burke, who heads the Comcast division, unveiled in a holiday greeting to employees that a streaming service may come soon and he was right of course, but the catch is this model will not be able to compete.

NBC is doing a solid for the traditional pay-TV industry. This model cannot scale to frictionless viewing of streaming that Netflix has pioneered. Who in their right mind would tolerate moving from cable to streaming with Ads? It’s barbaric. It’s downright lunatic.

For those that don’t subscribe to a pay-TV service, the streaming product, which will include 1,500 hours of NBC TV shows, stuff like Universal Movies and favs like SNL. Okay?

NBC going OTT means “over-the-top” services that stream videos online will be a fun thing to watch. In the media consolidation the only winners will be Ad-free ecosystems of value that can scale content with the deepest pockets, think Amazon, Apple and Facebook. Bleeding cash and winning awards, no prizes for that over the long-term guys.

Because the service will be free for the millions of people that already subscribe to pay-TV, NBC is banking on quickly growing to 30 million or 40 million users with its service. Hulu already has that amid incredible performances in a crowded space. How does NBC think it can compete in this space with this model?

NBC will air between three and five minutes of ads per hour of programming. One minute per hour is too much Ads to support the next era of Media. If you don’t understand the new consumer, you don’t deserve to survive the disruption.

It’s one thing for Netflix to launch in-service Ads for its own content, quite another to support out-of-channel disruptive Ads.

Traditional cable TV giants are racing to compete with Netflix that is at around 138 million users, but only Amazon has a realistic chance of catching them in the next five years. I love Disney and who knows maybe Apple will be able to create some sweet content, but I don’t live in those ecosystems, they are niche captive audiences.

NBC and Verizon (AOL & Yahoo acquisitions woes) feel like dinosaurs the way they are run trapped in legacy models of how media and content used to work.

AT&T is also brewing its own on-demand streaming service. The carrier’s WarnerMedia in November said the company planned to offer a three-tier video subscription service in the fourth quarter of next year. But it won’t be enough, even Apple and Disney are behind the curve, you have to consider NBC and AT&T won’t budge the needle much, in an even more immersive attention-media-advertising economy.

The subscription model will always beat the advertising model with Millennials and especially Gen Z, and the entire market has been telling us this for quite some time. NBC can reorganize its executives and pretend it’s innovating, but the era of TV is so over.


Futurism articles bent on cultivating an awareness of exponential technologies while exploring the 4th industrial revolution.

Michael K. Spencer

Written by

Blockchain Mark Consultant, tech Futurist, a prolific writer. Always writing. 🌞 DM me on Twitter for quotes: https://www.linkedin.com/in/michaelkspencer/



Futurism articles bent on cultivating an awareness of exponential technologies while exploring the 4th industrial revolution.

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