It’s always interesting to learn how the MSOs are treating and using social. When we spoke with Synacor, a company that helps MSOs use a secure, single sign-on to authenticate their subscribers for second screen apps, we learned about the challenges that are faced in sharing links across the social web that are walled-in by a provider login. We spoke with Cox Communications, the fifth largest MSO and learned about Cox TV Online and improvements to the set top box. Also, recently heard Rachelle Zoffer, Director, Content Strategy & Acquisition, Interactive TV at Verizon Fios (my own MSO and the 7th largest one) speak at a Producer’s Guild of America New Media Council event where she discussed their investment in interactive widgets, such as on screen games for kids during Nick’s Spongebob.
My own personal check-writing to the MSOs has been Time Warner Cable (4th largest) while growing up, RCN (16th largest) in my first apartment because it was extra cheap, followed by almost three years of Verizon Fios. I’ve been extremely happy with Fios but have usually stayed away from the website since I watch most of my TV via linear and the DVR tools are so hard to find, that I prefer to use their app. Comcast, the largest provider has been out of my consciousness most of my life simply because I’ve never lived in a region that offered it. I knew Xfinity only from the articles about their rebranding and occasional mentions form out-of-town friends. As a New Yorker, I of course assumed that nothing better could be outside this island. Luckily, the Xfinity team reached out and helped me understand why they’ve earned nearly one million Facebook fans in 2011.
Tom Blaxland, Senior Director of Xfinity TV and Todd Gold, Executive Editor of Xfinity TV are the two execs pioneering Xfinity’s social efforts from both a technical and content perspective.
Lost Remote: Can you describe the different social features Xfinity offers?
Tom Blaxland: Our team of designers, engineers and technical gurus worked together to bring the richness of the XfinityTV app – which has been downloaded more than 3.5 million times to date – to deliver a newly enhanced site with a new look and feel and more value to our customers in a fun, easy and convenient way.