How Charter Spectrum is weathering the COVID-19 storm
Charter Spectrum is handling the pandemic better than expected. They aren’t without some failures and blows to the bottom-line in various departments. COVID-19 is affecting every industry at this point and the US economy is struggling to recover. Spectrum is seeing highs and lows in their services line up between (almost) nationwide stay at home orders, self-imposed quarantines and the shut down of non-essential businesses. Charter Spectrum customer service helps new customers with self-installation of their high-speed internet service to help reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
How is Spectrum fairing?
Spectrum Cable Internet
Spectrum cable internet is seeing a small surge during the pandemic. Cable became an increasingly popular source of internet with the start of a nationwide quarantine or lockdown. Spectrum is seeing an increase in new internet subscribers who want to connect to their favorite sites to pass the time or work from home. Spectrum is also reporting an increase in current customers reaching out to upgrade their internet plan for faster speed.
Why are cable internet and faster speeds essential during COVID-19? Most people are or were spending more time at home than usual and, with more free time, are watching more digital streaming content than ever before. Platforms like Netflix, Hulu and YouTube TV are getting more new subscribers than average because users want fresh content to fill their days.
Streaming requires high-speed internet to prevent buffering and lost signals. This need for speed is bringing new subscribers to the realm of cable internet and is making current users call in for faster plans. Charter Spectrum cable internet is ideal for streaming Netflix originals like Ozark and Hulu shows like Handmaid’s Tale.
Spectrum offers three internet-only plans starting at either 100 Mbps or 200 Mbps and going as high as 940 Mbps. Customers can also bundle their internet with cable TV or a phone line for a lower cost per service. Bundling with one of the Spectrum TV packages at S9.com gives users access to online streaming and network-based watching through a cable or on-demand app.
Between the new subscribers, increased demand for upgrades and options to sweeten the deal through bundling, Spectrum cable internet is doing better than expected during the pandemic.
Spectrum Cable TV
Spectrum internet is doing surprisingly well because of increased online streaming, but that positive creates a negative for cable TV. The cord-cutting movement is growing nationwide, leaving many service providers scrambling to increase their subscriber base by throwing in free extras. The Charter TV deals are extensive and subscribers can get an excellent selection of television programs, sports, news and movies.
Cord-cutting is where cable TV subscribers, fed up with high bills and limited options for watching, cancel their cable subscription to sign up for services like Netflix or Hulu. Since quarantine started, cord-cutting increased, to the detriment of Spectrum Cable TV.
By throwing in extras like free access to on-demand TV shows, movies and free on-demand mobile apps that users can take with them, Spectrum TV still has plenty of subscribers.
Another way cable is making a dent in the cord-cutting movement is that each streaming platform charges a separate price for access, typically between $4.99 and $14.99. There are few bundling options for lower costs per platform, which means that consumers who want to watch Stranger Things on Netflix, Letterkenny on Hulu and Game of Thrones on HBO Max have to pay about $29.97 a month for a basic subscription with all three services. If they’re also interested in watching Disney+ ($6.99/mo.), YouTube Premium ($12/mo.), Apple TV Plus ($5/mo.), CBS All Access ($5.99/mo.) or any of the other streaming platforms available, that monthly fee adds up.
When customers subscribe to multiple streaming platforms to get all the shows they’re interested in watching, they can end up with a higher monthly bill than if they stick with cable TV. Even though Spectrum Cable TV is suffering from the cord-cutting movement during the current crisis, they still have a leg to stand on when it comes to their pricing structure. They’re not going anywhere anytime soon!
Spectrum Commercial Solutions
Spectrum offers cable internet and cable TV services to businesses nationwide, which is 14% of Charter Communications’ revenue. Sixty percent of that revenue comes from small and medium-sized enterprises. COVID-19 quickly shut down large portions of the country and all non-essential businesses, which cut to the core of Spectrum’s business services department, affecting the bottom line.
Even after the pandemic winds down and all businesses can open, Spectrum might see stagnant numbers of new subscribers and lose quite a few current customers as companies look to save money. Small and medium-sized enterprises are the most likely to close permanently due to the virus and resulting recession.
The boom in residential internet subscribers and plan upgrades might not overcome the downturn in business services; this is one area where Spectrum can expect losses now and going forward. The appeal of subscribing to cable internet and TV for your business is virtually nonexistent right now.
Spectrum Mobile Network
Spectrum is new to the mobile network game but was quickly building a customer base with its low prices and decent service range. They were starting to get some traction in the budget mobile market, going up against large corporations like Verizon and AT&T. Users with high mobile phone bills are continually looking for budget-friendly service providers with good signals and broad service areas and Spectrum can meet that need.
With the pandemic causing a recession, most people are hanging onto their old phones for longer and many don’t want to switch providers right now. The economy is too turbulent to make a significant change and many people are afraid to make a big decision like buying an expensive phone or switching to a new mobile network.
This lack of movement is bound to affect Spectrum’s bottom line but, before the pandemic, mobile services made up a very small percentage of Charter Communications’ revenue.
Spectrum might see a different outcome in which people flock to its mobile network in search of a lower monthly bill. Time will tell.
At the End of the Day
Charter Communications has both ups and downs because of the coronavirus and can expect a tumultuous future as the US economy tries to recover from COVID-19. Cable internet is already seeing the plus side of stay at home orders and quarantines while cable TV and commercial services are taking a hit.
At the end of the day, analysts expect Spectrum to recover quickly and do well in 2020 and beyond.