Light Reading's Mari Silbey reported today that Cox Communications Inc. has pulled the plug on its Flare MeTV OTT video streaming service after just two months. (See Cox's Fledging OTT Service Flares Out.)
Similar to Verizon's Go90 service and Comcast's "Watchable" video service, Flare MeTV was targeted at those cord-cutting and cord-never millenials who aren't interested in subscribing to traditional video services.
Cox has seemingly kicked all of the IP-tires under its "Flare" moniker, according to Silbey. There was the IPTV service "FlareWatch," which flamed out three years ago after a short run. Cox has had better luck with FlareKids, which pulls together content for children in a parent-controlled app, and a subscription-based gaming service called flarePlay.
Silbey speculated that Flare MeTV was another trial run in Cox's continued testing of IP-based applications, but the deciding factor to shutter the service may have been Cox's decision to use Comcast's X1 platform. Watchable is tied into X1, so Cox may have decided it didn't need Flare MeTV going forward.
Maybe Cox just decided it didn't need to undercut its traditional video services, or perhaps the feedback from trial users wasn't that great.
Cox is a privately held company, which means it can test the waters on various technologies, services and new applications without answering to shareholders. Anyone remember its short-lived phone service?
In the face of continued competition from OTT services, I guess we can't blame Cox for trying with Flare MeTV. Time will tell if it was a wasted effort, or if Cox learned anything useful going forward.
The road to IP enlightenment is fraught with potholes, it would seem.
— Mike Robuck, editor, Telco Transformation