May 7, 2007

Cisco: social networks are the future of media

Dan Sheinman, SVP of Cisco’s Media Solutions Group (via CNET), recently noted social networks are the best way for media practitioners to understand where media is headed in the digital age.

Cisco acquired Linksys for $500 million and set-top box maker Scientific Atlanta for $6.9 billion last year, marking a pricey leap into the consumer electronics and home entertainment markets, unfamiliar territory for the company. In the near future they hope to reap the rewards of that commitment.

Its eyes are set on social networking, which it believes is the ultimate marketing portal to consumers.

With the aim of reaching consumers where they play, the tech industry is focusing a number of resources on further developing consumer-powered technologies – evident in such companies as Google, Skype, MySpace, and YouTube.

Additionally, the position of user-generated video in advertising has changed from something generally avoided to something sought-for. The Coke-Mentos experiment on YouTube is a case in point.

Cisco is also developing products for the user-driven mediaworld. At present it is poised to launch a line of branded set-top boxes, anticipating the connected living room of the future. The notion of a next-gen connected household has been in the works for some time, but Scheinman notes that broadband adoption is bringing the idea increasingly closer to home.

Broadband use is presently at 35 percent in the United States.

“A giant IP network is what’s between content and user,” said Scheinman. “That’s one of the reasons we acquired Linksys and Scientific Atlanta.”

Source: Marketing Vox