OnScreen Summit 2011: Smit: Comcast's Platforms, Partnerships Drive Innovation

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New York -- A fast-paced marketplace has made innovation the driver of cable industry success, and Comcast Cable Communications president Neil Smit said the top MSO is keeping up with the competition, even as it faces subscriber losses.

At B&C/Multichannel News' OnScreen Media Summit here Thursday, Smit said Comcast has launched 16 products this year, including Skype and NextGen TV, which is more than it had released in the last two years combined. In keeping with this past year's heavy roll-out of product offerings, Smit said Comcast plans to release a new customer-facing or customer service product every quarter.

Smit cited the rapidity in which products are now released as the new cultural norm for the company. "People really thrive on it," he said. "They get into - ‘What's the product of the quarter?' "

Comcast's existing platforms and relationships, such as itrs partnership with Microsoft, make it easier to execute a quarterly product release. "We're really trying to find the best of the industries out there and integrate that into our Xfinity platform," Smit said.

The stuttering economy has not encroached upon Comcast's product offerings. In fact, its low-income broadband service has been launched across 39 states, and it has been examining how it offers products to customers who may not be able to afford higher-tier products.

MyTV Choice, for instance, allows customers to choose what channels they'd like to view -- just one example of the products, Smit said, that have been developed "for the customer."