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Comcast's Focus on Watchable Could Be a Boon to PR Pros
By: Mike Bush
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As longtime readers probably know, I’m absolutely fascinated with how TV and video are changing on a daily basis, and what these changes mean for the PR industry. What opportunities will open up? Could we see established players lose market share, or even disappear altogether? Are the major dollar sponsorships between sports and TV networks the last hope for Cable?
 
So it’s no surprise that I took notice last week, when Comcast announced a video platform called Watchable that will aim to compete with YouTube and Facebook video.
 
The VentureBeat story says that Comcast is partnering with some traditional video content providers like NBC, as well as well-known online publications like The Onion, Refinery 29, and (Comcast-backed) BuzzFeed, among others.
 
Comcast is building the platform on a revenue-share model, meaning Comcast and The Onion, for example, will share advertising fees (Comcast doesn’t have to pay licensing fees…which has become a hot topic with ESPN in the news recently).
 
From a PR perspective, these types of initiatives can be good news.
 
As flacks, we have more potential media targets, and in many cases, the targets we already have could be getting more eyeballs on them (for instance, a news feature on BuzzFeed could now end up in video for Comcast subscribers as well).
 
However, these initiatives could also mean an erosion of the value of top-tier media placement. There are only so many hours in a day, and time spent watching these new initiatives comes at the expense of time spent somewhere else (newspapers, perhaps?).

At the end of the day, it’s worth keeping an eye on all these initiatives. Smart flacks will be able to increase coverage and reach for their clients by understanding the changing media landscape.


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About the Author
Mike Bush is a PR and Marketing freelancer with more than a dozen years of experience in the field. Find him on and connect Twitter @mikebush or at www.mikebush.nyc. 
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