Mark Cuban is writing that the Yahoo/Comcast deal is bigger than we realize, and I think he may be right (disclaimer: I’m now a Yahoo employee).
In short, Yahoo and Comcast can start working together to develop video content and ad platforms that Google can’t touch. Any video that is streamed from Comcast.net can be streamed at bit rates that match the user’s throughput, including commercials. If Comcast can deliver on demand video at full DVD quality to PCs, it can deliver commercials at that quality. All without ever touching the internet.
More importantly, since all the users of Comcast.net video are Comcast customers, the two companies can work together to leverage customer data (within privacy limits) to deliver ads that are not only personalized, but also can evolve to be “over the top” of the set top box and be delivered to the TV in the future using Comcasts future switched digital capabilities and OCAP features.
But what’s interesting to me is how this compares with Google’s recent DishNetwork deal:
What will be interesting to watch is just how Google will take its online advertising platform and work it into the traditional television broadcasting business. The deal makes provisions for advertisers to use Google’s AdWords automated auction interface to bid on Dish Network’s TV ad spots. In what seems like a forgone conclusion with Google involved, advertisers can upload their TV commercials and select the desired time of day and channel — very similar to how Google runs its web-based advertising network on the AdWords platform. Advertisers can then choose regional or national area coverage and can target the ad based on a show’s demographics.
It appears that the big deal is not who’s going to deliver ads to TV, but which one will conquer the market there. And, if Cuban is right, Y! may well end up with a coup for their beloved Panama.
UPDATE: The discussion is now on Techmeme.