Unable to turn them into sustainable businesses, Cox Communications said it has opted to shut down its remaining “Flare”-branded services – myFlare (cloud storage), FlarePlay (an OTT subscription gaming service), and FlareKids (a curated Web video offering tailored for youngsters).
Those efforts, aimed at helping consumers discovery and consume digital entertainment, “attracted more than 300,000 users,” Cox said in a statement. “However, as market conditions within which these services continued to harden, we were unable to monetize the user interest and web traffic to the level we needed to sustain the business. As a result, we’ve made the decision to shut down all Flare products and will begin to notify customers today.”
Cox said it will endeavor to make it a smooth transition, noting that it will start to shut down those Flare-branded services next week, with Flare services expected to be turned down by mid-May.
Word of those shut-downs followed Cox’s decision not to launch MeTV, an aggregated OTT video service (originally called Flare MeTV) that was being designed to appeal to millennial audiences, and come on the heels of other services such as go90 from Verizon, and Watchable from Comcast. Notably, Cox is preparing for a national launch of a next-gen video service that’s based on Comcast’s X1 platform, which Comcast is using today to deliver Watchable OTT videos to the set-top.
Cox had also kicked the tires on an IPTV service in Orange County targeted at cord-cutters called flareWatch, but shut down that brief trial in the fall of 2013.
Cox said it will remain open to exploring a diverse array of new businesses, particularly those that rely on or work with its broadband platform.
“The nature of our new growth organization is to explore and aggressively pursue new ideas, products and businesses and then quickly adjust as needed,” Cox added. “While we have successfully incubated several new businesses (e.g., Cox Homelife, Cox Business Security and Surveillance, Cox Tech Solutions, and our initial foray into remote health management with the acquisition of Trapollo), the ability to fail fast is the other side of an effective innovation process.”