Comcast partners with AWS as it struggles to fight cord-cutting disruption

Cloud providers love to brag about their customer wins and Amazon got a big one today when it announced that Comcast had chosen AWS as its preferred cloud provider.

What does that mean exactly? Presumably Comcast is going to put the majority of its cloud workloads on AWS. In a time when Comcast is fighting the cable cutting trend, being able to produce cloud services and apps that differentiate it from a pure content provider could matter.

Those services include features like voice search through the Comcast remote or the Xfinity TV remote app, which lets you see what’s currently on and allows you to choose programs to record on your DVR. They have also created XFi, an app that lets customers have more control over their Comcast WiFi networks.

Comcast has been using a number of AWS services like compute, storage and analytics to help drive these apps.The company hopes that by building on the relationship, it can use the agility of the cloud to continue to fight cord-cutting disruption.

These days, all you need from Comcast and other cable providers is the internet access. With a streaming device like Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV or Google Chromecast, you can get a myriad of choices, usually for a lower cost than cable TV subscriptions

Cord cutting is happening faster than anyone expected. According to research from eMarketer, over 22 million people dropped their cable subscriptions last year, up over 33 percent from 2016. Not all of them were Comcast customers of course, but the trend has to have the company concerned.

With so many content options even Comcast, which also owns NBC Universal, faces a crunch. One way to fight that disruptive force is offering services on top of the content to differentiate itself from other offerings like Netflix and Hulu, not mention more pure cable alternatives like Hulu Live TV, Playstation Vue and YouTube TV.

AWS is the number one cloud infrastructure provider by far. Comcast is one of the leading cable TV providers with 22.5 million subscribers. AT&T had just over 25 million subscribers, both based on numbers are from last spring.