Tail, meet dog: Time Warner Cable (s twc) is currently sending a mailer to internet-only customers, suggesting that they should upgrade their broadband speeds for a better Netflix (s NFLX) experience and offering to throw in a whole year of free TV as a bonus.
Why is this remarkable? Because not too long ago, cable companies viewed TV services as their main money maker and broadband as an added service. The Time Warner Cable offer doesn’t just turn this model on its head, it also puts the focus squarely on Netflix as one of the main reasons people would want fast internet access.
Of course, Netflix has been blamed by some in the industry as a reason why people would cut the cord and go internet-only in the first place. For these cord cutters, an ad like this may actually be a smart thing: Instead of making them feel like they’re subscribing to an expensive TV bundle, Time Warner Cable is putting the emphasis squarely on Netflix, a service Internet-only users likely already enjoy.
It’s worth noting that Netflix isn’t actually included in the subscription package advertised by Time Warner Cable, but that could change: Reuters reported in March that Netflix CEO Reed Hastings had been meeting with some large U.S. cable providers to discuss the possibility of adding Netflix to their service bundle. The report also stated that at least one cable company would be ready to try such a cooperation by the end of the year, and Hastings went on the record at an investor conference saying that such bundles are “ the natural direction for (Netflix) in the long term.”
For more on the future of cord cutting, check out my e-book Cut the Cord: All You Need to Know to Drop Cable.